Solid Waste Management Department

How to Recycle Cooking Oil

We use cooking oil to prepare everything from Thanksgiving turkey to sauteed vegetables to salad dressing. But considering it poses havoc to drains and our sewage pipes, you want to avoid pouring it down the drain.

Cooking oil or grease should never go down the drain like ordinary liquids. When grease settles in the wastewater pipes and cools, it can cause clogs, expensive repairs, foul odors and sanitary sewer overflows. Used cooking grease usually comes from either residential or commercial kitchens.


Single-family homes, apartments, townhomes or duplexes should never have grease poured down the drain. Instead recycle it or can it, cool it, toss it!

Cooking Oil Recycling Locations. - Find your city below to view information on your local cooking oil recycling locations.

Can it, Cool it Toss it!

  1. Can it. Pour grease into an empty coffee can, empty milk carton, or similar container (with a lid so it doesn’t pour out).
  2. Cool it. Let grease cool or chill in the fridge to harden up and cover it or seal it.
  3. Toss it. Toss the container in the trash cart.

More Grease Tips

  • Put greasy food scraps in the trash… greasy and oily food cannot go in the compost.
  • Use a paper towel to wipe grease from pots, pans, plates, and utensils before washing.
  • Try not to put greasy food scraps in the garbage disposal.
  • Use a sink strainer to catch food particles.

Grease Fact

  • Running hot tap water will not help flush grease down the pipeline.


Restaurants, cafeterias and other commercial kitchens are regulated by City Code. Commercial kitchens must install grease traps that must be cleaned every 90 days unless a waiver is submitted and approved by the Houston Health Department.


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