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November 2, 2010 > Eat, drink and be wary of leftover cooking oil disposal

Eat, drink and be wary of leftover cooking oil disposal

Submitted By Meagan Miller

Thinking of deep-frying your Thanksgiving turkey this year? What will you do with the fat and oil remaining in the pan?

The Bay Area Pollution Prevention Group (BAPPG) is reminding residents not to dispose of grease from turkey fryers-along with any other fats, oils, and grease-down the kitchen sink or any other drain. Instead, they ask residents to properly dispose of cooking grease at special collection events (or on-going disposal locations) throughout the region during the holiday season.

Fats, oils, and grease accumulate over time and can clog pipes and sewer lines, causing back-ups into homes and spills into creeks and the Bay - messes no one wants. A consortium of wastewater treatment plants in the Bay Area, the Bay Area Pollution Prevention Group seeks to reduce wastewater pollution.

This year, the BAPPG has partnered with Orchard Supply Hardware, The Home Depot, and numerous independent retailers to place stickers on turkey fryer boxes encouraging consumers to practice proper disposal methods.

"Deep fried turkeys can be delicious, but this cooking method typically uses at least five gallons of oil," said Sharon Newton, BAPPG Chair. "This cooking oil shouldn't be poured down drains."

According to Newton, this is especially important during the holiday season because of the rich meals being prepared. Everything from turkey gravy to Chanukah latkes to Christmas cookies and tamales can be a culprit in the fight against clogged pipes.

What should people do with fats, oils and grease? Place drain strainers in kitchen sinks to catch greasy food particles and scrape leftover greasy food waste into the garbage or compost container, not the garbage disposal. Pour cooking oil that is free of water, soap and food scraps into a clean, sealable container and bring the container to one of the Bay Area drop-off locations.

There are several drop-off locations throughout the Bay Area this fall, and some operate year-round. Visit www.BayWise.org to locate the nearest free, drop-off site.

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