Fats, Oils, and Grease

Pouring fats, oils, and grease (FOG) can clog the kitchen drain and sewer pipes. Such clogs may result in sewage back-ups, which pose serious environmental and health hazards in your community, while damaging property. Even seemingly small amounts of oil can contribute to a mass solid buildup later which can create blockages that are costly for the homeowner and/or city to remove.

FOG process

Imagine this, you are cooking bacon on the stove and once you are finished, you pour the remaining sizzling fat from your pan down the drain. As the bacon fat falls and cools down in the drain, it hardens and solidifies. This can lead to hazardous sewage back-ups for your home, business, or neighborhood!

FOG sources include:

  • Meat fats (i.e. bacon, sausage, beef, pork, chicken, lard)
  • Cooking oil
  • Butter and margarine
  • Food scraps
  • Baking products (i.e. shortening)
  • Dairy products  (i.e. cheese, milk, ice cream, yogurt)
  • Cream based sauces
  • Salad dressings and mayonnaise

Don’t FOG up the drain. Here's how to properly dispose of FOG:

  1. Pour It - Once cooled, pour leftover cooking oil into an old jar or sealable container. Tip: store this container under the sink and away from young children and pets. 
  2. Wipe It - Use a paper towel or napkin to absorb any remaining oily residue on pans or dishes and place it in the compost.
  3. Dispose It - When your jar of used cooking oil is full, dispose it properly:
    • Option 1 (recommended): Recycle the used cooking oil (up to 15 gallons) at the Shoreway Public Recycling Center located at 333 Shoreway Road in San Carlos. Go to the Public Recycling Center (Gate #1) and look for a sign that says "cooking oil."
    • Option 2: Discard used oil in a sealed container and place it in the trash bin.

Got Gel Packs? Here's how to dispose of them:GelPackImage

  1. Gel ice packs labeled Drain-Safe: Follow the instructions on the packet to drain the contents and discard the empty pack (Drain-Safe logos may vary).
  2. All other gel ice packs: Dispose of the entire pack in the trash. If there are no instructions or clear labeling on the ice pack, assume it is trash.
As meal kit delivery services grow in popularity, so do the use of gel ice packs. Typical gel ice packs contain sodium  polyacrylate, a superabsorbent polymer like the material used in diapers. These polymers thicken when combined with water to form a gel. Never put them down the drain because they could clog pipes and create a mess (or sewer back-up) in your house. Make sure to check the labeling of your gel ice packs before disposing of them.