Pollution Prevention

Everyone has a role in keeping our local waterways and the environment healthy. Whenever possible, individuals, and organizations should implement practices that reduce or eliminate wastes at the source.

Fats, Oils, Grease (FOG)

Grease is a by-product of cooking. It comes from meat, lard, oil, shortening, butter, margarine, food scraps, baking goods, sauces and dairy products. When grease washes down the sink, it sticks to the insides of the pipes that connect your home or business to the local and regional sewer system.

Eventually the grease can build up and completely block the wastewater pipe resulting in a difficult and costly maintenance problem for private property owners, the cities and the MWMC. Blocked wastewater pipes can cause raw sewage to backup into your home or business, or overflow into streets.

How can you help out at home?


  • Scrape food scraps into the trash.
  • Pour grease into metal cans, let it harden and throw in the trash.
  • Stop using your garbage disposal, or try to minimize its use.
  • Wipe pots, pans and dishes with a paper towel before washing them.


  • Pour grease down the sink or toilet.
  • Don’t use cloth towels or rags to scrape oil or grease off plates and utensils because grease will drain to the sewer when you wash the towels.
  • Don’t run water over dishes, pans, fryers or griddles to wash oil and grease down the drain.

What not to flush

Drains are not trash cans and the wastewater system and treatment plant can’t handle chemicals or trash. Chemicals can harm the treatment plant or environment and trash can cause sewer back-ups and overflows.


Many common household products contain hazardous ingredients that can be dangerous to children, pets, and others. They could also cause problems in your wastewater line if poured down the drain or toilet.

Look at labels for words like caution, danger, flammable, combustible, corrosive, caustic, warning, toxic, and poison. Products with those words on the label should be disposed of at the Lane County Household Hazardous Waste Collection Center.

Do not dump any of the following down the drain.

  • motor oil and auto fluids
  • pesticides, fertilizers and lawn care products
  • beauty products
  • medications (prescription and over-the-counter)
  • paint, varnish, paint remover
  • photographic chemicals

Paper and plastic trash, such as the items listed below, should be put in your garbage can or dumpster.

  • paper towels
  • dental floss
  • feminine hygiene products and applicators
  • cat litter
  • cigarettes
  • plastics
  • disposable diapers