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

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What is F.O.G.?

F.O.G. stands for Fats, Oils & Grease and are found in common food and food ingredients such as meat fats, lard, oils, shortening, butter, margarine, many sauces, gravies, dressings and food scraps.

F.O.G. in Drains Cause Trouble
To prevent trouble, pour cooled F.O.G into a container and put it into the trash. Wipe F.O.G from dishes with a paper towel and place it in the trash.

F.O.G in drains comes mostly from pre-rinsing dishes or washing pots and pans without wiping first. It cools in the sewer system and sticks to the pipes creating blockages and backups into homes and businesses. These blockages can also cause sewer overflows and spills onto private property, streets and into local waters. They can also create serious public health problems.

For more information on F.O.G buildups see this link to Fatbergs.

Fortunately, F.O.G. is a valuable resource. Residents can recycle up to 10 gallons of used cooking oil by bringing it to a collection tank at the Snohomish County waste recycling center located at 21311 61st Place West Mountlake Terrace WA 98043. Facility Locations & Hours A licensed company Sequential Biodiesel, collects the cooking oil and converts it to biodiesel fuel.

More information is available below.

Information for Residents

  • Pour cooled fats, oils and grease into a container and put it in the trash. Use a paper napkin or a paper towel to wipe F.O.G. from dishes and dispose of it in the trash.
  • Recycle 10 gallons of F.O.G. or less, at Snohomish County waste recycling center located at 21311 61st Place West Mountlake Terrace WA 98043, Facility Locations & Hours
  • Use sink strainers to catch food waste.
  • Put food scraps in the trash or yard waste cart.
  • Stop use of in-sink garbage disposals for food disposal which can flush FOG into the sewer system.

Information for Restaurants and businesses

Food service establishments generate a significant amount of fats, oils and grease. In 2002 the City of Edmonds passed ordinance 3401 to reduce the accumulation of fats, oil and grease in our wastewater system. The ordinance applies to restaurants and other nonresidential facilities where food is prepared or served and requires them to control the F.O.G. with grease traps or interceptors that are cleaned regularly along with other provisions. (See City of Edmonds Municipal Code 3401 Chapter 7.91 for details).

The City also implemented an inspection program to ensure compliance with the ordinance. The inspector confirms systems are clean and functioning properly and provides information to help improve Best Management Practices (BMP’s).

For more information please contact the Pretreatment Technician at 425-771-0237 x1355.

Grease Removal Devices (GRDs) are required

Grease removal devices are required in the City of Edmonds. Retention of kitchen waste in grease traps and interceptors allows the grease to separate from the wastewater before it enters the city’s sewer mainline. Grease traps are usually found under or near sinks in the kitchen. Interceptors are usually large underground vaults located outdoors.

You must obtain a permit to install a GRD. For assistance, please contact the City of Edmonds Planning and Building Department at 425-771-0220 or visit their process page. A qualified local contractor can help you with the appropriate selection, installation and maintenance of your GRD.

For more information please contact the Pretreatment Technician at 425-771-0237 x1355.

Best Management Practices

  • Educate and train employees about these practices and encourage them to come up with new ideas for controlling F.O.G.
  • Always remove leftover fats, oils, grease and food waste from all dishes, pots, pans and cooking equipment prior to pre-rinsing or washing.
  • Remove food-garbage grinders. Use and maintain strainers in wash, rinse, food prep and floor sinks.
  • Use your trash can for food scraps rather than the pre-rinse sink. Spatulas work well for this. Solid waste can accommodate 10 percent liquid so even your gravies and other oily sauces can be sent to the trash. Handle solid waste wisely for health and safety: secure trash bags, dump daily, and keep the trash lid secured.
  • Install and maintain screens in all floor and sink drains. This will also reduce the amount of food waste that accumulates in your grease interceptor or side sewer.
  • Post “Fight FOG” signs (Fight Fog Poster) to remind your staff not to pour used cooking grease, hood vent grease, or any other used fats and oils down the sink drain.
  • Refrain from the addition of hot water, detergent or commercial degreasers, they do not liquefy the grease long enough to escape your drains.
  • Consider hiring a contractor to properly maintain range vent hoods and filters and dispose of the waste properly.
  • Wash all floor mats, grills and greasy kitchen equipment in a sink that goes to your grease trap or interceptor. Never wash these items outside where the water can flow to a storm drain.

Periodic Maintenance

City ordinance requires frequent cleaning for grease traps and quarterly pumping for interceptor tanks. Traps may be cleaned by restaurant employees or others. Interceptors must be cleaned by authorized contractors. Frequently skimming oil and grease from traps saves time and money, and reduces risk of odors, drain clogs and violations. More than 25 percent buildup of solids and scum layers in a trap or interceptor is a violation of city policy. The accumulated grease must be disposed of properly. Here is a partial list of companies that pump out and or recycle your grease trap/interceptor waste. *

If cleaning the grease trap in-house, here is a short video with basic instructions to do it yourself.

*This is not meant to be all-inclusive. The City makes no recommendations regarding private firms providing fats, oils and grease (FOG) removal and recycling services.

Maintaining a FOG log

Commercial food service establishments must keep a log of trap or interceptor cleaning. Records should note the dates of cleaning, who did the cleaning, and how much FOG was removed. Records must be available for review by the City inspector and must be kept for a minimum of three years. The FOG log form is available for your use.