City’s holiday request: Don’t dump grease down the kitchen sink

When it’s time to do the dishes after that Thanksgiving feast, the city is asking for a favor.

It’s a rule most people follow most every day: Don’t dump your grease down the kitchen sink.

But let’s face it, with thousands of turkeys and other big meals being prepared, there’s a better chance that more grease or oil than normal can get into and block the city’s sewer line causing a mess.

“We have seen during cooking holidays that there is an influx of that grease and fat, and after the holiday, we do have additional calls for service,” said Lisa Patterson, a city spokeswoman.

During last year’s Thanksgiving holiday, grease blocked sanitary sewer lines at four sites in the city. Lawrence’s utilities department also responded to five service requests, created by grease that was dumped into sinks.

The grease or cooking byproducts can cause a build up that stops flow in the pipes, and it can damage public and private lines — a major inconvenience during a holiday weekend.

Here are some tips on what to do:

• Don’t put fats, grease, oil or greasy foods down a garbage disposal or drain.

• Instead put smaller amounts of the spoils in a container with a tight-sealing lid, and throw it in the trash.

• If you don’t want the greasy odor sitting in your trash for several days, put it in the freezer until trash pickup day, Patterson said.

• Wipe grease from a pan or dump it into a container before rinsing the pan.

• Put coffee grounds or cat litter into large amounts of oil or grease — like from a deep-fried turkey — or sop it up with a newspaper before placing in the garbage.

• The city’s Household Hazardous Waste Program collects large amounts of waste cooking oil. It is free for Douglas County residents, and you can set up an appointment to drop it off by calling (785) 832-3030.