While utility companies, fire departments, and those in the plumbing industry have been warning homeowners for years about the risks associated with flushing cooking fats, oils, and greases (FOG), a lot of people still aren’t aware and continue to flush these items down the drain.
With that in mind, the City of Kingston, Kingston Fire and Rescue, and Utilities Kingston have partnered to make ‘FOG cups’ available to residents.
“Cooking oil, butter and margarine, meat fats, salad dressings, sauces, and gravies are all types of fats, oils and greases. When poured down the drain or flushed down the toilet, they solidify and build up inside plumbing pipes, creating a sewer back-up risk in your home,” Utilities Kingston said in a press release on Wednesday, Jan. 29, 2020. “Use the cups to keep FOG out of the drain and put them into the Green Bin where they belong.”
The cups, which are compostable, certified by the Biodegradable Products Institute (BPI), and approved for use in the City’s Green Bin program, are being offered to residents, free of charge, with a limit of three free cups per household. Residents can pour cooled grease, fat, or lard into the FOG cup, and then store the cup (with the lid on) in the fridge or freezer. Once the FOG solidifies, residents can place the cup, lid and all, into their Green Bin for disposal. Residents can learn more about what not to flush from Utilities Kingston here.
At the same time, Kingston Fire and Rescue is using this announcement as an opportunity to remind residents that stovetop fires can start “in a flash.”
“Never leave your cooking unattended. If a pot catches fire, slide a lid over the pot and turn off the stove. Never put water on a grease fire or try to move the pot to the sink,” the local fire department said in a statement.
The City offers more fire prevention tips here.
Where to get FOG cups
Residents can pick up their free FOG cups at the following locations:
- At Utilities Kingston’s main offices (85 Lappan’s Lane) from Monday to Friday, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
- At the Kingston Area Recycling Center (196 Lappan’s Lane) from Monday to Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Saturday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
- At Kingston Fire and Rescue’s Headquarters (500 O’Connor Drive) from Monday to Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
While the FOG cups will not be available for purchase, Utilities Kingston offers the following tips for disposal of cooking fats, oils, and greases:
- Wipe out greasy pots, pans, and utensils with paper towel before putting them into the sink. Soiled paper towels can be disposed of in your Green Bin.
- Place grease and food scraps into your Green Bin. If you don’t have a FOG cup, you can absorb FOG using newspaper or paper towel, before placing it in your Green Bin. You can also use a cup made of 100 per cent paper, but we aware this could leak. Let all material solidify before you place it in your Green Bin