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  • Writer's pictureBob Condon

Fats, Oils and Grease – Keep them out of the Drain

Keep the Grease out of the drain.

When you cook, you have all sorts of fats, oils, and grease from even the simplest of meals.  When you are done, you probably do what most people do, which is rinse everything in the sink, let it go down the drain and forget about it.  This is exactly the worst thing you could be doing.

Fats, oils, and grease come from meats, butters and margarine, lard, food scraps, sauces, salad dressings, dairy products, and cooking oil.  When this stuff goes down the drain it hardens in the sewer pipes.  This causes them to clog, giving your house a figurative heart attack.  These clogs can lead to a sewer overflow which can cause raw sewage to back up into your home, lawn, neighborhood and streets.  This sort of back up can lead to any number of health issues and cost extreme amounts of money to get cleaned up and fixed.  This sort of back up can also contaminate fresh water supplies in and around the area.   This can cause an ecological disaster of the environment and the wildlife, not to mention contaminate public drinking water.

Fortunately, enough there is a really easy way to combat this problem:  don’t put fats, oils or grease down the drain.  Easy.

Local Drop Off Points

Well, now that you are not putting this stuff down the drain, what do you do with it?  When you have finished cooking, collect liquid grease and oils in a sealable container. Take the container to your local drop-off location to be recycled.  The Town of Hempstead has the S.T.O.P Program (Stop Throwing Away Pollutants).  Several times a year, you can take all sorts of pollutants and other things you should not be throwing out or putting down the drain to designated drop off points.  You can read about the S.T.O.P. Program here.

Check the website of your locality for similar programs.

For the grease that cannot be poured into the container, wipe pans clean with a paper towel and put it in the trash. Food scraps should also go in the trash. Scrape off excess food from pots, pans, and plates before rinsing them in the sink with cold water.

Dos and Don’ts

  1. Do put oil and grease in covered collection containers.

  2. Don’t pour oil and grease down the drain.

  3. Do scrape food scraps from dishes into trash cans and garbage bags and dispose of properly. Avoid using the garbage disposal.

  4. Don’t put food scraps down the drain.

  5. Do remove oil and grease from dishes, pans, fryers, and griddles. Cool first before you skim, scrape, or wipe off excess grease.

  6. Don’t rinse off oil and grease with hot water.

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