Fats, Oils and Grease (F.O.G.)

FOG-HouseRemember when your grandmother saved used bacon grease in a coffee can? She probably didn't think much about it then, but she was recycling before it was the environmentally prudent thing to do.

Today, people who cook with fats, oils or grease (also known as FOG) typically discard the leftover mess by washing it down the drain with hot water.

Hot water might keep it from solidifying in our pipes for a short time, but it will eventually cool and when it does, it will collect more FOG.

A better idea would be to go back to the old ways of collecting FOG and bring it to Ironhouse Sanitary District's FOG collection drop-off for recycling.

ISD recycles FOG into biodiesel. Biodiesel is America’s first advanced biofuel. It is a renewable, clean-burning diesel replacement that is reducing U.S. dependence on imported diesel, creating green jobs and improving our environment. It is made from an increasingly diverse mix of resources including agricultural oils, recycled cooking oil and animal fats.

ISD has set up a drop-off station at their main office at 450 Walnut Meadows Drive, Oakley. FOG containers can be dropped off during business hours Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. The district also hosts Saturday drop-off times throughout the year. Take a look at the ISD event calendar for the next event.

How to store FOG

It is unlikely that a normal household will use that much grease while cooking dinner tonight, even if dinner is 22 percent fat ground beef. That one night of greasy meat isn’t going to cause much of a drain problem. The problem comes after several instances of pouring the grease down the drain and washing greasy dishes. So what is the easiest way to store FOG without leaving a mess?

Household fats, oils and grease can be stored in all types of containers. The most popular storage container is a recycled steel vegetable can. However, there are many other storage ideas available. Some use an old coffee can, which has a plastic lid to keep the FOG safe from spills. There is also a glass jar that can easily be wiped off in case some of the grease spills over the sides when pouring into the container.

When using fryer grease, many people just let the fryer cool and then pour the grease back into the container it came in. The ISD outreach committee tested placing cooled grease into small waxed cream cartons and found that the grease held well in the container.

No matter what is used it is important to let the grease cool before placing it into the recycling container. Store the grease in the freezer until the container is filled and ready to bring to ISD for recycling.

ISD will take the grease in containers of all shapes and sizes. When you bring it to the office for recycling simply drive to the front ISD’s office and find the yellow container in front of the grease disposal site under the tree across from the parking lot. Drop your container off and let ISD do the rest.

FOG is accepted at Ironhouse Sanitary District's Oakley office Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturdays from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. when the Residential Recycled Water Fill Station is open.