San Francisco Bay Area, CA – The holiday season can bring a surge of sewage pollution to San Francisco Bay. A major reason is the cooking and cleanup of rich holiday meals.
Cooking rich foods like turkey and gravy creates fats, oil and grease which gets washed down the drain during cleanup of pots, pans and fryers. The fats and greasy scraps harden and clump together, especially in cold weather.
Fats, oil and grease stick to the inside of sewer pipes, and builds up over time, causing clogs in home or street sewer lines. Sewage then backs up in homes, yards and even neighborhood streets and, ends up in local creeks and the Bay—negatively impacting the environment and public health.
Sewage pollution causes problems that range from skin infections or disease in swimmers and sea lions to algae blooms that choke off the oxygen supply of fish and aquatic plants. San Francisco Baykeeper and the East Bay Municipal Utility District (EBMUD) work together during the holiday season to educate residents about preventing sewage backups caused by fats, oil, and grease.
“We can all keep our kitchens from polluting the Bay—and avoid sewage backups in our homes and neighborhoods,” says Deb Self, San Francisco Baykeeper Executive Director. “The foods you should not wash down the drain are cooking oil, meat fat, lard, shortening, butter, dairy products, margarine, fatty food scraps, sauces, gravy, and salad dressing.”
San Francisco Baykeeper’s Tips for Bay-Friendly Fat Cleanup
- Pour cooled fats, oils and grease into a milk carton or other compostable container and dispose of it in your compost bin or garbage.
- Wipe down greasy pots, pans and dishes with a paper towel before washing them. Dispose of the paper towel in your compost bin or garbage.
- Don’t use hot water or the garbage disposal to wash fats, oils, or grease down the drain. Water cools through the pipes, causing fats, oils, and grease to harden into clogs along the sewer system.
- Drop off large amounts of residential cooking oil—like used oil from a turkey fryer—at Bay Area recycling locations.
Bay Area Used Cooking Oil Collection Sites
450 10th St
765 Pennsylvania Ave
Haight Ashbury Neighborhood Council Recycling Center
755 Frederick St
9am‐4pm Mon-Sat, 12-4pm Sun
Island Cove Market
150 4th Street, Suite 1, Treasure Island
Whole Foods Potrero Hill
450 Rhode Island St
Whole Foods SOMA
399 4th St
8 am-10pm daily
Whole Foods Franklin
1765 California St
8 am-10pm daily
1745 Folsom St
Household Hazardous Waste Drop-off Center
Recycle Road between 401 and 501 Tunnel Ave
Devlin Road Reuse & Recycle Center
889B Devlin Rd, American Canyon
Marin Household Hazardous Waste Facility
565 Jacoby St, San Rafael
West Contra Costa County Integrated Waste
101 Pittsburg Ave, Richmond
9am-4pm Thurs, Fri & first Saturdays
Central Contra Costa County Household
Hazardous Waste Collection Program
4797 Imhoff Place, Martinez
El Cerrito Recycling Center
7501 Schmidt Lane
Whole Foods Oakland
230 Bay Place, Oakland
8 am-10 pm daily
EBMUD Wastewater Treatment Plant
2020 Wake Avenue, Oakland
Alameda County Household Hazardous Waste Drop-Off
2100 E 7th St, Oakland
9am-1pm Thurs, Fri & Sat
2091 W Winton Ave, Hayward
Call for schedule
5584 La Ribera St, Livermore
9am-1pm Thurs, Fri & Sat
41149 Boyce Rd, Fremont
8:30am-2:30pm Wed, Thurs, Fri and 8am-4:30pm Sat
Regional Water Quality Control Plant
2501 Embarcadero Way, Palo Alto
9am-12pm 1st Sat each month
Daly City Water & Wastewater Resources
153 Lake Merced Blvd, Daly City
Recology of the Coast
1046 Palmetto Ave, Pacifica
San Carlos Recycling Center
333 Shoreway Rd, San Carlos
Blue Line Transfer, Inc.
500 East Jamie Court, South San Francisco
$1.00 per gallon of oil
6am-4:30pm Mon-Fri, 7am-4:30pm Sat
Sunnyvale Materials and Recovery Transfer Station
301 Carl Rd, Sunnyvale
San Francisco Baykeeper is the Bay’s pollution watchdog, using science and advocacy to enforce clean water laws and hold polluters accountable. For more information, visit us at www.baykeeper.org.