Everyone has a role in keeping our local waterways and the environment healthy. Whenever possible, individuals, and organizations should use practices that reduce or eliminate wastes – at the source.
Freeze FOG – To Keep Your Wastewater Flowing
Fats, oils, and grease (FOG) from food build up in wastewater pipes when flushed or rinsed down kitchen drains. FOG sticks to the insides of wastewater pipes that connect your home or business to the local and regional wastewater system. Built up FOG can clog pipes and cause problems such as costly repair and cleanup at your expense, wastewater backing up into your home or your neighbor’s home, or wastewater overflowing into neighborhood parks, yards, and streets.
Here are examples of each type of FOG:
Fats – Butter, margarine, shortening, peanut butter, meat trimmings, cheese, milk, sour cream, and ice cream.
Oils – Cooking oils and salad dressings.
Grease – Gravy, mayonnaise, fat from meats, lard, sauces, and soups.
- 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.
Trash It, Don’t Flush It
Drains (toilets, sinks, etc.) are not trash cans, and the wastewater system can’t handle chemicals or trash. Chemicals can harm the treatment plant and 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
- disposable diapers and wipes
Starting July 2022, product packaging for baby wipes, makeup wipes, cleaning wipes, and other personal care wipes sold in Oregon must clearly indicate that such products should not be flushed down toilets. This comes after Gov. Kate Brown signed HB 2344 into law on June 8, 2021, making Oregon only the second U.S. state to require “Do Not Flush” labeling on disposable wipes. The MWMC supported HB 2344 and is glad that it is now law.