How to safely toss grease from Thanksgiving feast

Some Thanksgiving Day chefs make the mistake of pouring cooking grease down the kitchen sink. It’s a move that could lead to an icky backup and pricey plumbing bill.

It happens at dozens of local homes on Thanksgiving each year, said WSSC Water spokesperson Lyn Riggins.

“It’s a recipe for disaster because it’s going to harden and form a dam,” she said. “And, the next time you go to flush that toilet, the sewage is going to hit that dam and it’s going to cause a big mess.”

What’s more, some of the sewage could overflow from a maintenance hole and end up in the Chesapeake Bay.

But, there’s a simple way to avoid it all.



Riggins said there’s a simple three-step process to get rid of the grease from a Thanksgiving feast.

First, can it.

“This is a message that goes all year round, really,” she said. “Take the grease and pour it in a can.”

Next, cool it in the fridge or freezer. Finally, toss the can, she said.

“We don’t want a basement backup in homes,” Riggins said. “We don’t want sewage impacting the environment. So, can it, cool it, and toss it. It’s so simple.”

Riggins said WSSC Water workers can track who is dumping grease down the drain. It’s mostly home chefs frying, grilling and cooking with grease.

“About 99% of grease blockages are traced back to homes,” she said. “Restaurants, in general, do a great job of collecting their grease and properly disposing of it.”

For most of those homes, the grease jam puts a damper on the holiday weekend.

“Nobody wants to spend Black Friday dealing with brown Friday,” Riggins said. “You don’t want to be sitting there, waiting for a plumber to clear your line because you dumped grease down your sink.”

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