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Local plumbers stress the importance of safely disposing cooking oil and grease this holiday season

Posted at 9:22 AM, Dec 22, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-22 12:22:08-05

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KERO) — Since the end of November, the city of Bakersfield has offered to safely get rid of used cooking oil and grease for city residents. However, with the holiday season in full swing and more people spending time in the kitchen, a few local plumbers say maintenance calls have been increasing since Thanksgiving for clogged drains and other damages for improper disposal.

If you cook with grease, pouring it down the sink can cause damage, by hardening and clogging pipes. Instead, plumbers suggest putting it in a sealed container and throwing it away in the trash, because if you don't, you'll end up spending more money this holiday season and it won't be on gifts.

“The average cost for a grease problem during the day is $127.50," Plumber Rick Clemmons said.

That price can get even more expensive depending on the damage. Rick Clemmons is the owner of Plumbing Doc. He says this is the busiest time of year for maintenance calls.

“Always around Thanksgiving and Christmas, you have families coming in from out of town. They have a lot more meals so you have a lot of usage on your waste system," Clemmons said.

Business is also booming for Alfredo's Drain Cleaning and Plumbing Services. Plumber Alfredo Ramon says he is getting about 12 to 15 calls a days and there are plenty of ways to safely get rid of cooking oil and grease.

"Take some paper towels, wipe it, and then put your paper towels in the waste basket," Ramon said.

Since November 29th, the City of Bakersfield has encouraged residents to drop of used grease and cooking oil at a local collection site to be safely thrown away.

"The city has gotten 46 gallons of grease. Now comparatively speaking, this time last year, as of December 9th, 2020, we only had 26 gallons of grease collected, so obviously its nearly doubled," Eric Galvan said.

City of Bakersfield Communications Coordinator Eric Galvan says residents can throw away used oil and grease at a Grease Collection location Monday through Friday from 8am to 3:30pm at the City of Bakersfield Waste Water Treatment Plant 3 at 6901 McCutchen Road or at North of Road Sanitary District main office at 204 Universe Avenue.

At the sites you'll find a table and dumpster with gloves, an instruction sheet, and wipes. Ramon says you should take advantage of free disposal.

“You can save money if you do proper maintenance," Ramon said.

The city says if you plan to drop off at either the McCutchen Road or Universe Avenue locations, make sure you bring the cooking oil and grease in sealed containers. Collection ends Friday, January 7th.