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What are you going to do with that used cooking oil?

City and county offer ways to dispose of fats, oils and grease

CoolCanTrashWebtrim2As you prepare your Thanksgiving feast this week, remember that improperly disposing of fats, oils and grease down the drain can clog pipes and cause sewage backups in your home or in the public sewer system. So, how will you properly dispose of FOG (fats, oils and grease)?

One safe way to get rid of that used cooking oil is to take it to either the City of St. Augustine Wastewater Treatment Plant, 501 Riberia St., or St. John’s County’s Wastewater Treatment Plant, 860 West 16th St. during regular business hours, Monday through Friday. Note that the used oil, fat and grease should be delivered in a safe container that will not melt or shatter.

Thanksgiving favorites such as meats, dressings, sauces, butter and dairy products contain fats, oils and grease (FOG).  When disposed of down the drain, FOG sticks to the inside walls of sewer pipes, where it builds up and eventually blocks flow.  This causes raw sewage to back up and overflow into homes, business and the environment. Proper disposal of these products allows used cooking oil to be recycled into usable products such as biodiesel fuel.

As a reminder, keep FOG out of the sewer system by:

  • Never pouring oil or grease down any drain or toilet;
  • Scrape food scraps from cookware and dinner plates into the trash, not down the drain;
  • Pour small quantities of fats, oils and grease into an empty jar, cool or freeze, seal and dispose of in the trash; and
  • Recycle materials at the community collection event or any time at the City of St. Augustine Wastewater Treatment Plant, or the St. Johns County Anastasia Island Wastewater Treatment Facility.

Combined effort in the New Year

For those who want to wait until the conclusion of all the holidays, you may take advantage of a special collection day scheduled for Wednesday, January 4 from 7:30am-2:30pm when the city, county and St. Johns Technical High School Academies of Coastal & Water Resources and Culinary Arts host a used cooking oil recycling day at two convenient drop points at 25 W. Castillo Drive (Francis Field downtown) and at  840 West 16th St. (St. Johns County Recreation) on Anastasia Island.

For more information, contact Glabra Skipp, City of St. Augustine at or 904.825.1055; or Linda Fielder, St. Johns County at 904.209.2663.