How to properly dispose cooking grease after holidays

From the bayous to the Beltway, Houston comes home for the holidays! And in many cultures, coming home means cooking at home, whether it’s fried turkey or fresh tamales, catfish or curry, gingerbread men or pudding – cooking is in full swing during the holidays.

When the holiday cooking is done and clean-up begins, Jason Iken, Senior Assistant Director of the City of Houston’s Public Works and Engineering Department’s Wastewater Operations Branch, encourages Houstonians to start a new tradition: Putting grease in its place.

“Cooking grease should never be poured down the drain like ordinary liquids, because when grease settles in the sewer system and cools, it can cause clogs that may back-up into homes or cause sewer overflows on our streets,” Iken says. “It’s similar to a stalled car on the Loop, where just one vehicle can create a back-up for thousands of drivers.”

Instead, Iken recommends that Houston residents handle grease in three easy steps:

  1. Can it.  Pour grease into an empty can, or line a bowl with foil, and pour grease into the foil.
  2. Cool it.  Let the grease cool for at least two hours, and then cover it or seal it.
  3. Toss it.  Then just toss the grease directly in the trash.

The City of Houston’s Public Works and Engineering Department’s Wastewater Operations Branch maintains over 6,100 miles of sewer pipelines – the distance to the North Pole and back! “Remember, corral the grease, and then put grease in its place to keep Houston’s sewer lines flowing freely,” Iken says. For more information on how to properly dispose of grease, please visit: www.corralthegrease.org.