Cities across North Texas are participating in an initiative urging residents to recycle grease produced during holiday cooking into biodiesel and biogas.
Over 35 communities and cities across North Texas are taking part in the “2023 Holiday Grease Roundup” initiative from Defend Your Drains North Texas. The initiative includes cities such as North Richland Hills, Denton, Irving, Lewisville, Plano, Arlington, Wylie, Frisco, and more.
The program asks consumers to save the grease produced when cooking for Thanksgiving, rather than simply disposing of it by pouring it down the drain. The organization says that disposing of grease in this way not only damages pipes but also the quality of natural bodies of water.
“If you put Fats, Oils, Greases, and other solids (FOGS) down the drain, they will harden and cling to the walls in your household pipes or city sewer lines. Once hardened, this reduces water flow and could cause a sewage backup into your home or neighborhood,” reads the website for Defend Your Drains North Texas. “FOG comes from meats, butter, food scraps, sauces and gravy, dairy products, and cooking oil.”
“When fats, oils, and grease are washed down the drain, they stick to the inside of pipes, hardening and building up until they cause clogs and sewer backups. This can cause sewage to overflow into homes, streets, and local waterways,” reads the website for the holiday initiative.
“Whether the repairs are in your home or in the street, it can be costly and inconvenient. If the sewer overflows, city crews have to shut down streets, tying up traffic and increasing expenses for both residents and municipalities.”
Instead of simply disposing of the oils, different locations across the metroplex urge that civilians bring these FOGS to collection centers and drop-off locations where they will be taken and processed into fuels. Recycling these oils reduces landfill buildup while producing energy that is “clean and green.”
Jacie Lewis, an environmental compliance inspector with the Irving Water Utilities Department told the Denton Record-Chronicle that this time of year is when consumers should be particularly mindful about how they dispose of oils and fats.
“You want to always make sure anything that is not water you’re putting into the trash,” said Lewis, according to the DRC. “So, all of your pots, pans, and plates, you want to scrape off or wipe off with a paper towel into the trash first.”
Residents can drop off their FOGS for free at dozens of locations around the metroplex. Click here to find a drop-off location near you.
Those who choose not to participate in the program are asked to seal grease and oil in a container and throw it in the trash, rather than pouring it down the drain.
The initiative runs through Friday, January 12.