Source Control for Residents
Up to 50% of all sanitary sewer overflows are caused by accumulations of fats, oils and grease (FOG
) on the inside of wastewater pipes. FOG comes from many sources: meat, lard, cooking oil, shortening, butter & margarine, food scraps, baked goods, sauces, dairy products, salad dressings, mayonnaise, gravy, etc. FOG is typically discharged to the wastewater system through kitchen sinks and dishwashers.
FOG solidifies and builds-up over time to cause blockages. These blockages cause backups and overflows of raw sewage that can enter homes, businesses, and the environment. This can lead to human contact with disease-causing organisms, environmental damage, increased maintenance costs and higher wastewater utility rates.
Furthermore, residential home owners may be held liable for all clean-up costs related to a sanitary sewer overflow. Such costs can include damage to adjoining personal property, parking lots, streets, wastewater pumps, piping, and treatment plants.
The best way to prevent sanitary sewer overflows is to keep FOG out of the wastewater system in the first place. There are several ways to accomplish this:
- Pour cooled leftover oil into a sealable container and recycle it or dispose of it in the garbage (instead of pouring it down the drain). You can drop off used cooking oil and grease, anytime, at no cost, at the Crossroads Par 3 Golf Course parking lot, 15801 NE 15th St in Bellevue, just behind Top Foods. General Biodiesel, a Seattle-based renewable energy firm, will recycle the oil and grease into biodiesel fuel. To ensure safe and secure transport and disposal of your cooking oil and grease, put the cooled oil and grease from fryers, pots, or pans in a sealed container such as a plastic milk jug. At the disposal tank, slowly pour the cooking oil into the collection container to avoid splatters. Be sure to close the community collection tank lid when finished. Leave nothing behind but the cooking oil you deposited; take your container back home for reuse or disposal in the garbage. This collection site if for cooking oil only. NO motor oil.
- Dry wipe (with a paper towel) or scrape grease and food scraps from dishes prior to pre-rinsing. Grease and food scraps can go into your compost pile, yard waste cart, or trashcan for disposal. When you put your food scraps into your yard waste cart they are taken to Cedar Grove Composting and turned into compost – a great addition to help gardens grow! View the food/yard waste guidelines. Residents with curbside service in Redmond can order a FREE kitchen food scraps pail and sample roll of compostable bags. (To order call 425-556-2897. One order per household please.) For more information, and helpful tips, about food scraps recycling: Watch the fun and informative “Best Composting Recipe” video.
- Limit use of in-sink garbage disposals to reduce the amount of grease and food waste that will accumulate and contribute to blockages in your home’s side sewer pipe. Install and maintain screens in all sink drains to catch any grease and food scraps you’ve missed with your paper towel or scraper.
- Talk to your friends and neighbors about FOG in the wastewater system and encourage them to help fight FOG!
Household Hazardous Materials
Many common products are hazardous to the environment and cause damage to the wastewater system when flushed down the toilet.
For the disposition of oil-based paint, pesticides, gasoline, and toxic cleaners, go to the King County Factoria Transfer Station Hazardous Waste Locker
. The Wastemobile
also accepts these household hazardous wastes and periodically visits Redmond at the Home Depot parking lot.
To properly dispose of latex paint:
- Mix latex paint with an equal amount of kitty litter or paint hardener
- Stir in completely
- Let the latex paint dry
- Put the can in your garbage container with the lid off
You can return medicines that are not controlled substances to any Group Health Pharmacy location in Washington State and select Bartell Drugs pharmacies around Puget Sound. Visit the Medicine Return
page to find locations in Redmond.
Residents with curbside garbage service can recycle motor oil at the curb following these guidelines:
- Put motor oil in 1-gallon milk jugs with screw-on lids
- Label with name and address
- Put 2 feet from recycling cart
- Limit 2 gallons per collection. Only uncontaminated used motor oil is accepted.
For more information visit Waste Management.
For additional details on residential garbage and recycling in Redmond, visit
Garbage & Recycling on this website.