Sunday morning, fresh coffee and some bacon and eggs… that’s a favourite for our family! What do you do with the grease and fats left in the pan from the bacon? It’s tempting to simply pour them down the drain…. but DON’T do it!
Why Can’t You Pour Grease Down the Drain? Science 101
If you pour grease and fat down the drain, the pipes in your home will eventually suffer the consequences of hardened grease and they will become blocked and stop working. Also, there is a chemical reaction that happens after your wastewater is flushed from your home and delivered to the sewers in your neighbourhood. The fats in the grease and oil your cooking with combine with chemicals in the sewers and form a nasty mess that can build up and block the pipes that take our dirty water to the wastewater treatment plant. This grease acts like cholesterol in the pipes and eventually causes a heart attack for your plumbing! In the city sewers this fat combines with calcium to form fatty blobs. As the sewer levels rise, these “blobs” rise and attach to the top of the pipes. They can reach enormous sizes, causing dangerous backups in city and home sewers. Gross!
Even your garburator won’t handle that grease. The blades become less effective when they are covered in sticky, gooey grease. Eventually, they too, will stop working.
What if you add hot water to the mix? This is still a bad idea. Adding hot water is a temporarily solution and the grease will still harden when the water cools and this will still lead to blocked drains.
What Should I Do With Cooking Grease?
The easiest way to clean up cooking grease is let it cool and harden right in the pan. Then scrape it out into the garbage and finally, wipe out the last remains with a paper towel. This will ensure that the least amount of grease goes down your sink drain. If your using an oil that does not solidify once cooled, simply poor it into a sealable container… hopefully not a recyclable one and throw the entire container in the garbage. Adding grease to compost can be done but be careful because some grease will attract vermin!
Small quantities can be wiped up with a paper towel or napkin and thrown in with your kitchen scraps. What about those green bins? Well, each community has its own rules. For Airdrie residents click https://www.airdrie.ca/index.cfm?serviceID=1045&ID=492. Calgary residents click https://www.calgary.ca/UEP/WRS/Pages/What-goes-where/Default.aspx
What If You Already Poured Some Grease Down the Drain? Drains Clogged?
For a DIY solution try pouring baking soda and white vinegar down the drainto break up the grease. If the drain doesn’t seem to be working or you’re concerned, don’t worry!
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