Fats, Oils, & Grease

Additional Residential Information

The basics for residents

View the following diagram in PDF form by clicking or tapping on it.

Graphic of FOG postcard

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Cooking oil and grease clog pipes. No one wants their sewage back.

Fats, oil, and grease (FOG) from preparing food and washing dishes can build up in pipes and lead to sewage backups, expensive plumbing bills, and pollution in Puget Sound. Even small amounts washed down the drain can build up over time. View a video of a clogged pipe due to cooking oil and grease.

 

Information for Residents

What should I do with used cooking oil and grease?

The correct way to dispose of cooking oil and grease depends on the amount you have.

  • Step 1: Cool oil and grease
  • Step 2: Remove oil and grease from pots and pans:
    • Small amounts of oil and grease can be wiped up by paper towels or newspaper and placed in the compost.
    • Large amounts of liquid oil can be poured into a container, closed with a lid, and placed next to your recycling cart for curbside pickup.
    • Large amounts of grease can be scraped into a container, covered with a lid, and placed in the garbage.

What foods can clog pipes?

Sources of cooking oil and grease include:

  • Cooking oil (all types), butter, shortening, lard, and margarine
  • Oil/grease from cooking meats
  • Oil leftover after frying foods
  • Greasy sauces and mayonnaise
  • Mixed juice at the bottom of roasting pans
  • Gravy, sauces, and soups
  • Fatty food scraps
  • Floating fat (on water) after crock pot/Dutch oven cooking
  • Oil/grease from roasting or pan sautéing veggies or meat
  • Dairy products like milk, cream, sour cream, ice cream
  • Oils that solidify at cool temperatures, like olive oil and coconut oil
Photo of a compost bin
Photo of a sink strainer

What about other food waste?

Food waste from garbage disposals can also clog pipes and cause sewer backups. Use sink strainers to catch food waste during dish washing, and regularly empty the strainer into your food and yard waste cart.

 

Information for Restaurants and Other Businesses

Restaurants and high volume commercial kitchens in schools, hotels, and hospitals can produce a lot of FOG. It can also come from small delis, coffee and ice cream shops, and pizza parlors.

Backups are costly. If a food service business has a sewage backup, it must:

Resources for businesses