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What are you going to do with that used cooking oil?

oils1200As you prepare for Thanksgiving this week, remember that improperly disposing of fats, oils and grease (FOG) down the drain can clog pipes and cause sewage backups in your home or in the public sewer system. So, how will you properly dispose of FOG?

Thanksgiving favorites such as meats, dressings, sauces, butter and dairy products contain fats, oils and grease.  When disposed of down the drain, FOG sticks to the inside walls of sewer pipes, where it builds up and eventually blocks flow.  This causes raw sewage to back up and overflow into homes, business and the environment. Proper disposal of these products allows used cooking oil to be recycled into usable products such as biodiesel fuel.

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As a reminder, here are ways you can keep FOG out of the sewer system:


  • Never pour oil or grease down any drain or toilet;
  • Scrape food scraps from cookware and dinner plates directly into the trash, not down the drain;
  • Pour small quantities of fats, oils and grease into an empty jar, cool it or freeze it, then seal and dispose of it in the trash; and
  • Recycle materials at our community collection event in January 2018, or at any time during regular business hours at the City of St. Augustine Wastewater Treatment Plant, located at 501 Riberia St. You can also dispose of materials at the St. Johns County Anastasia Island Wastewater Treatment Facility, located at 860 West 16th St..

Be sure to collect the used oil, fat and grease into a heat-safe container, so it can be easily saved and safely transported for disposal delivery.  You do not want the container to melt or shatter.

Combined effort in the New Year

For those who want to wait until the conclusion of all the holidays, you may take advantage of a special collection day scheduled for Friday, January 5 from 7:30am-2:30pm when the city, county and St. Johns Technical High School Academies of Coastal & Water Resources and Culinary Arts host a used cooking oil recycling day at two convenient drop points at 25 W. Castillo Drive (Francis Field downtown) and at  840 West 16th St. on Anastasia Island.

For more information, contact Glabra Skipp, City of St. Augustine at gskipp@citystaug.com or 904.825.1055; or Linda Fielder, St. Johns County at 904.209.2663.