Fats, Used Cooking Oil and Grease

Residual fats. used cooking oils (UCO) and grease (FOG) are byproducts of food preparation that must be properly managed to avoid these potentially troublesome materials from entering drain pipes in the home or commercial food service operations. When FOG is allowed to go down the drain, it solidifies, reducing and preventing water flow in drains and sewer pipes. Sanitary sewer overflows (SSOs) are clogs in the collection systems that can potentially result in raw sewage released into communities, causing potentially dangerous health conditions. These are costly events for wastewater utilities to clean up, dangerous for public health and can degrade the water quality of North Carolina's public waters.

Sanitary sewer systems are neither designed nor equipped to treat the FOG that accumulates on the interior of municipal sewer collection system pipes. Local governments, home kitchens and restaurants can all help to better manage FOG.

Local Governments

Used cooking oil (UCO) has become a valuable commodity, and more communities are developing programs to capture residential UCO.

Homes (Home Kitchen)

Home kitchens can reduce FOG discharges to prevent clogged pipes and costly cleaning of the lines. Collecting UCO is easy and it's recyclable too. Many North Carolina communities have FOG programs and are successfully collecting used cooking oil. View a map of counties with used cooking oil collection programs. To find the contact information for your community, use this link: NCDEQ Local Government Contacts.

Restaurants (Food Service Kitchen)

Most food service providers are already collecting UCO and are constantly looking for new and better ways to meet the demands of their customers while cutting costs and minimizing overhead expenses. Collecting UCO and dry clean-up are the key to keeping FOG out of pipes. Making sure that all ware washing stations are only discharging wastewater to an approved grease interceptor will capture the remaining FOG to prevent clogs.

Controlling Fats, Oil and Grease Discharges from Food Service Establishments 

Grease Trap Pumpers (.xls) (.pdf)

A Fact Sheet for Capturing Restaurant Oil and Grease 

A Fact Sheet for Best Management Practices for Fats, Oil and Grease 

Fats, Oil and Grease Management - Food Service Checklist 

Excerpts from old FOG manual 

For further information about managing Fats, Cooking Oils and Grease, contact a staff member or call (877) 623-6748.