Reduce Fats, Oils, and Grease in the Sewer System

What is a FOG?

“FOG” refers collectively to the fats, oils, and grease found in most residential kitchens and commercial food service establishments. 

Where Does FOG Come From?

Some foods containing FOG include cooking oil, meat fats, butter, other dairy products, and baked goods. 

Why is FOG a Problem?

While some of these may seem harmless, as they enter the sewer system in liquid form through sinks, dishwashers, and garbage disposals, these substances solidify as they cool and stick to the insides of sewer pipes.

Over time, FOG builds up and completely blocks these pipes, causing raw sewage to overflow into streets and streams, or to back up inside a restaurant or a residence. This can have a hugely detrimental effect on communities, as the public relies on strong sewer infrastructure for overall health. Not only does FOG cost the Town’s public works departments in infrastructure repairs, but also raw sewage flowing into the water supply significantly increases the possibility of drinking water contamination, yielding to other potential public health concerns. 

What Can I Do to Help Prevent Sewer Backups and Dispose of FOG Correctly?

Please help us reduce the FOG in our sewer system by properly disposing of these substances in the trash.  Remember the slogan: “Cool it, Can it, Trash it”! Please keep in mind, you own the sewer line from your home to the main in the street!

NEVER pour grease down sink drains - instead dispose of cooled cooking FOG into a waxed food container like a milk carton or container with a lid and dispose it in the garbage,

Minimize the use of your garbage disposal. Foods containing FOG can get caught in the plumbing and cause sewer backups.

Use baskets or strainers in sinks to catch food scraps. Empty the scraps into the trash can!

DO NOT use the toilet for disposal of food scraps, sanitary items, rags, cloths, or towels.

Utilize the Used Cooking Oil Recycling Program!

The Shrewsbury Water and Sewer Division is pleased to announce the implementation of a residential used cooking oil recycling program. Rather than dispose of used cooking oil down the drain, potentially clogging your sewer service, it can now be easily recycled at no cost into sustainable energy. The Town has partnered with Mahoney Environmental who will recycle the used cooking oil into biodiesel.

This program was inspired by two Shrewsbury High School Seniors, Jacob Furman and Nicole Shen.

How the program works:

  1. Collect your used cooking oil in sealed containers
  2. Make an appointment to bring the used cooking oil to the Water and Sewer Garage at 207 South Street. Appointments can be made by emailing Appointment slots will be on Monday and Thursday between 8:00 AM and 3:00 PM.
  3. An employee from the Town will assist you in pouring the used cooking oil into the recycling bin

The program will accept any oil you cook in.

What is not accepted:

  • Solid cooking oils, grease,  or lard 
  • Motor oil
  • Transmission fluid

Resources on FOG

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