Five ways you can fight holiday FOG build-up
Delicious meals bring families and friends together during the holidays but don’t let a clogged drain spoil your plans this holiday season. Pouring cooking Fats, Oils, and Grease (FOG) down the drain (intentional or unintentional) can cause major sewage backups, clogs, and overflows. Instead of pouring holiday cooking grease down the drain, save it in a container and bring it to Ironhouse Sanitary District (ISD) for proper recycling.
This year ISD celebrates ten years of collecting FOG at our facility. The program runs year-round, however, the District opens for a special Saturday collection, this year on Dec. 5, 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. for easier access for those who work during the week.
“Please do not put Fats, Oils, and Grease (FOG) from cooking down the drain. This can build up in the sewer system and may lead to overflows. Instead, save the cooking grease in a container and bring it to ISD for recycling,” said Tyson Zimmerman, assistant general manager of ISD.
FOG can cause serious sewage issues and costly repairs for homeowners. Clogged pipes can also overflow into homes, yards, streets, and the Delta. Everyday washing of plates, pots, pans, and cooking equipment – such as turkey fryers – sends FOG down the drain, which over time will eventually build up in the sewer system.
While FOG may not seem harmful as a warm liquid, once it cools, it’s a different story. As the liquid cools, the fat, grease, and oil congeal causing major blockages not only in your pipes but also in the public sewer system and interior pipes. FOG collects in the piping system over time and can be the cause for major system problems and breakdowns for Ironhouse Sanitary District.
Here are five ways you can fight holiday FOG
- Keep your house sink drains fat-free. Cool it, can it and recycle it at ISD. Pour cooled fats, oils, and grease carefully into a container with a lid on it.
- It’s not just FOG. In addition to fats, oils, and grease, FOG also includes meat fats, lard, shortening, butter, margarine, food scraps, and dressing.
- When in doubt, throw it out. Food scraps containing FOG belong in the trash. Even if you have a garbage disposal in your sink, leftover FOG from cooked substances can build up and leave your pipes in need of major cleaning and possibly a costly plumbing bill.
- Scrape your plate. Scrape all your remaining food scraps from your plates, pots, pans, and fryers into your trashcan before you wash your dishes. Avoid the garbage disposal and use something as simple as a strainer in your sink to catch unwanted food scraps. Before washing your plates and cooking supplies, use a paper towel to absorb excess FOG and toss it in the trash.
- Recycle FOG. Did you know that Ironhouse Sanitary District has a FOG recycling program where residents and small businesses can drop of cooking fats, oils, and grease at our FOG building at our Main Offices in Oakley? ISD works with a company that collects the FOG from us and recycles it into biodiesel.
This holiday season, and all year long, give yourself the gift of clogged free pipes and the community the gift of clean water. Put your sink on a fat-free diet. Drop your FOG off at Ironhouse Sanitary District, 450 Walnut Meadows Drive (cross streets Main Street, Rose Avenue, and Districts Way), Oakley.
ISD’s Saturday opening this holiday season takes place on Dec. 5 from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. For more information on FOG see ISD’s website at http://ironhousesanitarydistrict.com/237/Fats-Oils-and-Grease-FOG.
With the holidays here and more people at home cooking this year, remember that pouring cooking Fats, Oils, and Grease (FOG) down the drain can cause kitchen sink and sewer back-ups. Ironhouse Sanitary District asks that you recycle all your cooking grease by bringing it to the District’s FOG Recycling Day, set this year for Saturday, Dec. 5, 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.
The event will take place at the District offices located at 450 Walnut Meadows Drive. The collection will be for cooking oil only and must be in a sealed container.
Recycling cooking oil is a way to reduce waste and provide a positive impact on the environment.
- Steps to recycling cooking oils:
- Obtain a plastic container or jug;
- Pour used fats, oils, and grease into the container, seal it and store in a safe place; and
- Bring the full container to the recycling location.
For more information, see the District’s website at http://ironhousesanitarydistrict.com/237/Fats-Oils-and-Grease-FOG.