Tip: Discarding Kitchen Grease

When I had to take the food handlers course to get certified to work in the soup kitchen, our city’s water company manager did a presentation on the problem of grease in the city’s sewer pipes.

He showed us picture after picture very similar to these:

People dump grease down toilets, flush it down drains, and it all comes together to coagulate in the pipes.

It’s a SERIOUS problem in cities all around the country.

Restaurants can face fines if it’s discovered that they dispose of grease improperly.  But restaurants are just part of the problem.  I never poured grease down the kitchen sink simply because long ago in my early adulthood, I clogged the sink up with cooking grease.  But, until I took this class, I didn’t think twice about flushing grease down the toilet.  However, the water from the toilet goes to the same place as the water from my sink, and it flows through pipes and will clog just as easily as it did in my own personal kitchen sink all those years ago.

San Fransisco sewer pipe clogged with grease - before and after -- Photo source

So now, with that knowledge in hand, I never dispose of grease through the sewer system anymore.  Instead, I keep a container — usually an oil container — and pour (cooled) used grease in that.

I just use a funnel to help keep it as mess-free as possible.

When the container is full, I throw it in the garbage can.

If I lived on acreage, as is our ideal, I would probably have a less landfill-minded disposal plan.  But for now, this is what works for me.

Keep that clogged city pipe picture in mind the next time you fry chicken, or make doughnuts, or fry some french fries.  When it’s time to get rid of your grease, find a way to do it outside of the city’s sewer pipes.



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