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Cooking Grease
Keep kitchen grease out of sink drains and protect our creeks!

Liquified animal fats, greases and vegetable oils should not be poured into sink drains. The grease hardens and sticks to the insides of sanitary sewer pipes.

The buildup can clog pipes, causing raw sewage to back up into homes or overflow from manholes.

Because many sanitary sewer pipelines run next to creeks, overflowing sewage often winds up in our streams and lakes.

Kitchen sink
Don't dispose of cooking
grease in your sink.

Sewage overflowing from manhole
If pipes are clogged with grease,
sewage can spill onto the ground, then
flow into the nearest storm drain or creek.

You can help!

Please do not dispose of cooking grease or other oils down the drain. Pour the grease or oil into a can, freeze it and throw it in the trash. Or recycle the grease at one of the four full-service recycling centers.

See recycling center locations.​

You can also mix the grease with kitty-litter or coffee grounds and then throw it in the trash.

Remember that grease or frying oil from a turkey fryer should never be poured into a sink, storm drain or creek. The cooking oil needs to be recycled at a full-service recycling center.

If you notice:​
  • sewer odors in a creek
  • discolored creek water
  • overflowing manholes
  • dead fish or aquatic life
call 311. Storm Water Services' Water Quality staff will respond quickly, find the source of the problem and make sure it is corrected.



Sewage spill in creek
A sewage spill will turn creek water gray
and it smells bad.


The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Utility Department reports hundreds of sanitary sewer overflows each year. Most are caused by cooking grease in pipes. Learn more.


Chart showing sources of sanitary sewer overflows 

Learn more about Charlotte-Mecklenburg Utilities' Grease Free campaign.