Garbage Disposal Fact Sheet

Why you should not use garbage disposals
The United Sates Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the North Dakota Department of Health (NDDH) instructed the City of Grand Forks to work with all food service establishments to implement a Fats, Oils, and Grease (FOG) Control program. This program applies to all facilities that prepare food whether this facility is a bar and grill, cafeteria, fast food restaurant, convenient store, ice cream shop, or a bakery. If a facility is preparing food, it is important to share information with all employees so that they understand how to prevent grease clogs and sewer backups in your facility or home.

Why shouldn’t you use a garbage disposal?
Excluding food particles from the wastewater system can eliminate a large amount of FOGL from a facility’s or home’s discharge. It is a common misconception that garbage disposals prevent FOG from going down the drain. Garbage disposals only shred solid material into smaller pieces.

What can you do?
FOG discharge can be reduced by up to 50% by disconnecting garbage disposals and scraping food into the trash. Retain or install a fine meshed screen (1/8 inch or 3/16 inch screen openings are recommended) in the drain of each kitchen, mop, and hand sink. Clean drain screen frequently by placing the collected material in the garbage.

Use dry clean up methods- Remove food by scraping, wiping, or sweeping before using wet methods that use water. Wet methods typically wash the water and waste material into the drains where it eventually collects on the interior walls of drainage pipes. Use rubber scrapers to remove food particles, fats, oils, and grease from cookware, utensils, and serving ware. Place the food particles in the garbage. Use paper towels to wipe down all work areas. Use food grade paper to soak up oil and grease under fryer baskets and dispose of in the trash.

City of Grand Forks
Environmental Compliance Office
724 N 47th Street * Grand Forks, ND 58203 * Phone (701) 738-8781