Services for You Water & Wastewater Wastewater Sewer use by-law enforcement Residential oil and grease

Residential oil and grease

Why is oil and grease a problem?

Fats, Oils and Grease (FOG) can cause serious problems for the sanitary sewer collection system. FOG can clog the flow in drains and sewers. Sewer pipes blocked by grease are an increasingly common cause of sewage overflows.

Grease that is poured down the sink drain is often a warm liquid. It may not appear harmful but as the liquid cools, the grease solidifies and causes buildup inside the pipes, becoming a hardened mass. The buildup restricts the flow of sewage and clogs the pipes. The consequences of pouring grease down the drain can be:

  • Raw sewage backing up into your home
  • An unpleasant and costly clean up at the homeowners expense
  • Environmental harm if raw sewage is overflowing into parks, yards, streets and local waterways due to a build up of grease
  • Potential contact with disease causing organisms
  • Increased costs for local sewage departments, which causes higher sewer bills for customers

Each year, a considerable amount of time and money is spent cleaning clogged pipes throughout the County.

Where do fats, oils and grease come from?

Grease is a common by-product of cooking and is the term used for animal fats and vegetable oils. It can be found in the following:

  • Meats
  • Salad dressings
  • Soups, pastas and chili
  • Cooking oil
  • Sauces
  • Dairy products
  • Lards, butter and margarine
  • Baked goods
  • Food scraps

What can you do to help?

  • Scrape grease and food scraps from trays, plates, pots, pans, utensils and cooking surfaces into a can or the trash basket for disposal.
  • Wipe out greasy pans with a paper towel before putting them into the sink to soak.
  • Never pour grease down the sink drain or into the toilet.
  • Hot water is not the solution. Once the grease & water cool, the grease deposits onto the sides of the sewer pipes, creating a problem.
  • Use a strainer in the sink to catch food scraps and other solids.
  • Inform your friends and neighbours about the problem of grease in the sewer system and how to keep it out.
  • Place grease into a FOG cup and store it in the fridge or freezer. The grease will solidify and can be placed into the garbage.

What is a FOG cup?

Fats, oils & grease (FOG) cup

The FOG cup is for households to store cooled kitchen fats, oils and grease for disposal. 

Simply follow these three easy steps to help keep your fats, oils and grease out of sewer pipes:

  1. Pour cooled kitchen fats, oils and grease (FOG) into the container.
  2. Put the lid on and store in the fridge or freezer until full or ready for disposal.
  3. Place full cup into your garbage or take it to the Oxford County Waste Management Facility for disposal. 

Oxford County residents can pick up FOG cups at:

  • Oxford County Administration Building - 21 Reeve St., Woodstock
  • Oxford County Library branches (all 14 branches)
  • Oxford County Waste Management Facility - 384060 Salford Rd., Salford
  • Township of Southwest Oxford office - 312915 Dereham Line, Mt. Elgin
  • Town of Tillsonburg office - 10 Lisgar Ave., Tillsonburg
  • Zorra Township office - 274620 27th Line (at Hwy. 19)