Fats, Oils & Grease

Keep fats, oil, and grease (FOG) out of your drains and prevent sewer backups in your home and neighborhood! To learn more, view the Help Fight Fats, Oil, and Grease (PDF).

What FOG Is

FOG is fats, oils, and grease that can build up in sewer systems. FOG can come from different sources, the most common are:

  • Baked goods and baking products
  • Butter or margarine
  • Cooking oil
  • Dairy products:
    • Cheese
    • Ice cream
    • Milk
    • Sour cream
    • Yogurt
  • Food scraps
  • Meat and meat fats
  • Sauces, salad dressings, mayonnaise
  • Shortening or lard

Why It Is a Problem

The fats, oils, and grease (FOG) are found in food ingredients such as:

  • Baked goods
  • Cooking oil
  • Dairy products
  • Lard, butter or margarine
  • Meat
  • Salad dressings
  • Sauces
  • Shortening

These are a major concern for sewer systems. When fats, oils, and grease are poured into the sink drain or flushed down the toilet, they coat and stick to the inside of the sewer pipes which can cause expensive, and even dangerous, stoppages and sewer backups. FOG can create blockages in both the public sanitary sewer system and your private sewer system. When not disposed of properly, FOG can lead to raw sewage overflowing into your home and streets, expensive repairs, and potential health risks as a result of contact with contaminants in sanitary sewage.

The Do's and Dont's of FOG

  • Do place cooled cooking fats, oils, and grease into a waxed food container such as a milk carton or container with a lid and dispose of it in the garbage.
  • Do scrape grease and foods scraps into a container or trash for disposal from:
    • Cooking surfaces
    • Dishes
    • Pans
    • Pots
    • Utensils
  • Do use baskets or strainers in sinks to catch the leftover food scraps. Empty scraps into garbage.
  • Do minimize the use of garbage disposals. Foods containing FOG can get caught in the plumbing and cause sewer backups.
  • Do speak with friends and family about the problem of FOG in the sewer system and how to keep it out.
  • Don't put fats, oils, or grease down garbage disposals. 
  • Don't pour fats, oils or grease down sink drains or into toilets.