Fats, Oils & Grease (FOG)
Fats, oils, and grease (FOG) is a byproduct of cooking and meat cutting. FOG can be found in meat fats, oils, shortening, butter, margarine, sauces, and dairy products. View links at the bottom of this page for helpful tips and hints.
When FOG is poured down drains or in garbage disposals, it builds up in our sewer systems and can back up in our sinks, toilets and possibly into your own or somebody else's basement. The first pipes that will become blocked with FOG will be your own pipes and that could result in expensive plumbing bills. Keeping FOG out of your drains and the sewer system is good for your home's plumbing.
Nearly 50% of all sewage overflows nationwide are caused by homeowners who improperly dispose of everyday FOG. Overflows are not just public health issues, but can result in serious damage to our environment, especially pollution of our streams, rivers and lakes.
By learning how to safely recycle or dispose of FOG, we are accepting some of the responsibility for the health of our environment and the quality of life we enjoy in the City of Forney.
As the department that responds to sewage overflows, the City of Forney Public Works CMOM Program has taken on the challenge of educating residents on how they can and should dispose of FOG, which is found in foods and food ingredients we use in our homes every day.
When you fry bacon, broil hamburgers or bake meat, what remains in your cooking pan is FOG, a real enemy of our sewer system, anda substance that, when poured down your drain or into a garbage disposal, will build up over time, constrict the flow of wastewater and eventually cause sewers to back up into homes, and overflow sewage into streams, rivers and lakes.
The City of Forney Public Works Department quickly responds to and resolves these backups and overflows. However, prevention is the best for this growing problem.
Reduce, Reuse or Recycle FOG
First and foremost, we must reduce the amount of FOG that enters the city's sanitary sewage system. To do this, we are asking homeowners to follow the following simple steps when they are recycling or disposing of FOG:
- Minimize the use of excess cooking oils and grease when cooking or frying.
- The best way to handle used cooking grease is to pour it from the pan while it is still somewhat warm into a container that you can freeze, preferably 1 you'd have to throw away because it's not accepted by your local recycling program. (Frozen juice cartons work well because they won't melt when they come in contact with hot grease.) Use a rubber spatula to scrape as much of the grease out of the pan as possible, and then it should only take 1 disposable paper towel to wipe the pan clean.
- Store the container in the freezer, which will keep the grease solid, and pull it out whenever you have FOG to dispose of. When it gets full, dump the whole container in the trash.
Whenever possible, find creative ways to reuse or recycle properly stored FOG. One suggestion is to turn refrigerated FOG (now lard) into wild bird suet by mixing it with bird seed. Check out the eHow website to learn how.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) provides information on how commercial food service establishments can better control FOG discharge in their Commercial FOG Fact Sheet (PDF).
The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality provides additional information on FOG.
By shifting our habits 1 resident at a time, 1 day at a time, and 1 household at a time, we can substantially enhance the health of our streams, rivers and lakes to create a sustainable city.