Did you know that San Francisco spends approximately $3.5 million dollars every single year to unclog our sewers? Commercial restaurants and household kitchens are the largest controllable sources of Fats, Oil and Grease (FOG) in the City’s sewer system. Although most individuals don’t produce very much used cooking grease, collectively what we pour down our drains all adds up and makes a disgusting unhealthy clogged mess in our city’s sewers.

greasy SF sewerBefore and after photos of a San Francisco sewer encrusted with used grease

In response to this greasy problem the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC) is now taking action. They have begun the SF Greasecycle program, which collects waste vegetable oil from City restaurants for FREE and recycles it into biodiesel. Nearly all of San Francisco’s city vehicles already run on biodiesel, but soon they will be able to use biofuel made from used cooking oils provided by our local restaurants.

SF Restaurants can sign-up for FREE collection services by clicking here.

“Clogged sewers result in unsanitary back-ups, overflows onto streets, foul-smelling odors, and costly damage to sewer infrastructure. So as residents, we are all affected. Fortunately, we can all do something about it. Plus, we also have chance to produce something useful from our waste, while we’re solving the sewer problem. Your used cooking oil will be recycled to make biodiesel and help power the City fleet on a cleaner-burning renewable fuel.”

-from SF Greasecycle’s website

SF Greasecycle

Where Can I Recycle My Household Grease?

There is not yet household grease pick-up in the City, but the San Francisco Household Hazardous Waste Facility accepts cooking oil in small quantities (up to 20 gallons per day per customer). Oil can be dropped off when the facility is open to receive paint, solvents, and other household chemicals, Thursday-Saturday from 8 am-4 pm, excluding holidays. You do not need to prove that you are a San Francisco resident to dispose of only cooking oil, but you will need to provide proof of residency if you bring any type of hazardous waste besides used cooking grease.

The Household Drop-off Waste Center located on Recycle Road between 401 and 501 Tunnel Avenue in the city. Click here for facility details, including a map and directions. By recycling your used cooking grease you not only reusing a valuable resource, you are also helping to keep our sewers and water supply healthier and cleaner.