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Answered: The right way to dispose of bacon grease (and more)

Let’s get educated on the dangers of pouring fats, oils, and grease down the drain — and what to do instead — with insight from the Reedy River Water Quality Group.

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Four strips of bacon sizzling in a cast iron skillet

Calling all breakfast lovers: Do you know the right way to dispose of bacon grease?

Photo provided by Reedy River Water Quality Group

Table of Contents

Last month, we introduced you to the Reedy River Water Quality Group and some ways Greenvillians can help protect and preserve our local waterways through everyday actions.

This one’s a biggie: Avoiding dumping fats, oils, and grease down the sink. Not only can doing this cause sanitary sewer overflows, but it can also result in hefty repair bills for homeowners.

So, what’s so dangerous about pouring fats, oils, and grease down the drain? Let’s get into it. Fats, oils, and grease in pipes combine with other “unflushables” (think: paper, wipes, floss, feminine products, and items that don’t dissolve like toilet paper), which can cause clogs and issues with plumbing.

What can you do to help — and avoid overflows and costly repairs? Make sure to properly dispose of any cooking oils, grease, or fats (like butter and salad dressing).

Here’s how:

  1. Pour fats into a container, like a coffee can, and allow them to cool and harden. Pro tip: Open soup or vegetable cans, or baby food, pickle, and mayo jars, also make good disposable containers.
  2. Put your filled container into the freezer to help it cool even faster.
  3. When cooled, simply toss the container in the trash.

A few bonus tips: Scrape food scraps from dishes and utensils directly into the trash, and wipe pots + pans with a dry paper towel to soak up residue before rinsing or washing them. This is all especially important to keep in mind going into the holidays.