Fats, Oils and Grease (FOG) Program
Clean water depends on the participation and support of the entire community, from the government, businesses, and schools to individual citizens. Water is essential to everyone, and we all play a role in wastewater treatment. Public support and participation is critical to keeping wastewater treatment facilities operating and maintenance costs down.
When cooking by-products like fats, oils, grease (FOG), are dumped down household drains, they cool and stick together causing expensive plumbing problems. FOG is found in meats, sauces, gravies, cooking oils, mayonnaise, ice cream, butter and many other compostable food waste.
The sanitary sewer system is designed to carry wastewater away from your home to the Wastewater Treatment Facilities where it is safely and effectively cleaned. As fats, oils and grease cool, they thicken and remain sticky, collecting all other items, such as wipes, that pass through your pipes creating one massive blockage and preventing the water from reaching the treatment facilities.
The clean-up of sewer backups and the additional maintenance required to reverse the damage caused by the improper disposal of these items leads to higher utility bills, costly home plumber visits and expensive pipe replacement. Sewer overflows and backups can also cause health hazards. Sewage is full of bacteria and contaminants that pose a serious threat to people and their pets.
What you can do at home to prevent overflows:
• Collect and properly dispose of cooking oils and grease by pouring it into a heat-proof container and then placing it in the trash.
• Collect FOG in a heat-proof container and take it to the Regional Landfill, 489 Eskimo Hill Road, Stafford, VA 22554, or the Belman Road Recycling Center, 1200 Belman Road, Fredericksburg, VA 22401. You can leave the containers there and staff will properly dispose of the oil. Fitted sink strainers can be used to catch larger pieces of solid waste and then thrown in a trash can.
• Reuse meat fats to make gravy or use to roast vegetables. Some types of vegetable oil used in deep frying can be saved and used again.
• Many products can be recycled. Used cooking fats can be converted into biodiesel to fuel vehicles or electric generators.
• Wipe plates and pans with a paper towel to remove any residual food and grease before washing or placing in a dishwasher. Don’t use a towel or a rag to wipe plates or clean grease. When you wash them, the grease ends up in the sewer.
Here are six ways to responsibly dispose of used cooking oil:
- Recycle used cooking oil. R-Board provides year around collection of used cooking oil for residents at both of their convenience centers. Collect cooking oil in a heat-proof container and take it to the Regional Landfill, 489 Eskimo Hill Road, Stafford, VA 22554, or the Belman Road Recycling Center, 1200 Belman Road, Fredericksburg, VA 22401. You can leave the containers there and staff will properly dispose of the oil.
- Reuse cooking oil with the same food types. If you use the oil for foods like vegetables or potatoes, the oil can be used again several times. Remember to cool and store oil properly if reusing.
- Make homemade suet for the birds. Mix any cooled cooking oil with a bird seed and place it outside for the birds – they will appreciate the extra calories over the winter months!
- Small amounts of used vegetable oil can be added to your compost piles, this will help feed the earthworms that help with the composting process.
- Mix it with an absorbent material like cat litter or flour until the consistency is thick enough to easily be thrown away. Now you do not have to worry about oil leaking through a garbage bag.
- Can it, cool it and then toss it. Keep cans or milk cartons to pour your grease into then stick it in the freezer or refrigerator to cool and harden then toss it in the trash.
IMPACT REPORT: Residential Sewer Customers
|Stafford County Sewer Customers:||34,918|
|Annual Sewer Maintenance and Pumpout Cost:||$1,634,900|