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    Where Can I Dispose of Cooking Oil in Philadelphia

    We all know that piece of kitchen wisdom passed down from our grandma: don’t dump grease down the drain! But it may not be as much of a no-brainer as you’d think. The Philadelphia Water Department (PWD) reports that cooking oil is still one of the biggest problems facing the city’s sewer system.

    WHAT’S THE ISSUE with cooking oil?

    “Oil and water don’t mix” isn’t just a cliche. Grease, fat, and oil won’t break down in water when you wash it down the drain. That means it sticks around sewers, building up and eventually clogging them. Blocked sewers lead to back-ups and even spillage into homes and businesses (yuck).

    It can also cost you. Damaged pipes aren’t cheap to repair, and if PWD traces improper disposal back to your home or business, it could mean hefty fines.

    But what, then, should you do with that pan full of leftover oil? Whether you own a restaurant or just cook at home, this edition of Where Can I Wednesday breaks it down (pun fully intended).


    For residents:

    • Feed the Barrel: This immigrant-led initiative places barrels around the city for you to dump your grease, free of charge. The barrels are then collected by Eden Green Energy, a vegetable oil recycling plant located in Chester, PA, that transforms it into biofuel, animal seed, and even soap. Locate a barrel near you!
    • Good Ol’ Trash: If you can’t find a local barrel, PWD recommends you just pour the grease into a disposable container and dump it with the rest of your solid waste, to be hauled away by the Streets Department. Not ideal, but better than a sewer backup.

    For businesses:

    • Grease Trap: Don’t forget to install one of these bad boys. After being properly sized, they collect grease and prevent it from entering the sewer system. Just make sure they’re well-maintained.
    • Collection Services: Here are just some Philly companies that’ll pump the grease from your traps and ensure that it’s properly disposed of.


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    Brianna Baker

    About Brianna Baker

    Brianna is a senior journalism major Temple University. While studying abroad in Fall 2017, she interned at WHERE Rome magazine, and has also worked for Baltimore STYLE, QWERTY Philly, and student publications like Templar, The Temple News and 14th Street. In addition to writing, she loves re-watching her favorite sitcoms, going to concerts, and doing yoga (when she’s not feeling too lazy).

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