Grease or cooking oils/fats should never be put down your drain, despite popular belief. It is against federal and City Wastewater Pretreatment regulations to put grease down the drain. The grease clogs the City sewer system and creates a multitude of problems. Sewer lines get clogged with grease and overflow into the community, which poses health hazards and water contamination issues. City workers have to repair/maintain these lines and the repairs can temporarily leave customers without service. Sewer overflows can cause damage to personal property, homes, yards, neighborhoods, and parks. If the grease is in the customer's lines, the City is not liable. That could cost you a lot of money, not to mention dealing with sewage flooding into your home and yard. Proper grease disposal methods can help promote a more effective sewer system for your home and the community, which leads to a healthier population and environment.
How to dispose of grease around your home:
- For grease that will solidify (bacon grease, shortening, etc.), let it cool and put it into a plastic bag or coffee can and put it in the trash. For liquid grease or oil, put it into a container with a lid and put it in the trash. You can also use grease containers like these. Large amounts of grease can be taken to recycling facilities, which are listed below.
- Hot water flushing down the drain while you pour grease or oil does not solve the problem. Neither does running the food disposal while you pour grease or oil. It solidifies further down the line in the sewer system, causing problems for the City.
- After cooking, wipe greasy pans with a paper towel and put the paper towel in the trash instead of rinsing the grease down the drain. Even this little bit of grease from rinsing pans adds up over time.
- Place a sink strainer in the bottom of your sink to catch greasy food scraps, so you can throw them away. Any solids greater than one-half of an inch should never be put down the drain. They clog the utility lines just like grease.
How to manage grease for restaurants and commercial buildings:
- Restaurants and commercial buildings can be provided with a grease interceptor (trap) if, in the City's opinion, the level of grease and oil discharged is problematic to the sewer system. The user is responsible for cleaning and repairs, as needed, at the user's expense.
- Even if there is a grease trap installed, it is still important to dispose of grease and oil in a designated container, and recycle it properly. If there is a small amount of grease or greasy food scraps, make sure they go in the trash and not down the drain.
- Large amounts of grease require the use of large grease containers, which are similar to a dumpster. Companies will come empty these containers as a monthly service. Otherwise, you can take the grease to a recycling facility (see below).
Both of these locations accept cooking oil and grease:
Washington County Environmental Affairs - Special Waste Recycling
Monday thru Friday 8am to 4pm, First Saturday of each month 8am to Noon
2615 Brink Dr.
Fayetteville, AR 72701
Near Washington County Detention Center
- Springdale Recycling Center (Boston Mountain Solid Waste District)
Mondays and Thursdays 8am to 4pm
479-846-3005 or 888-426-9278
1809 S. Lowell Rd.
Springdale, AR 72764
Near Springdale Animal Shelter