November 17, 2023

Keep Your Pipes Clean of Fats, Oil, and Grease

Residents are urged to collect and dispose of these drain-clogging substances properly and pick up FREE grease can lids at all library branches.

Free Grease Can Lids

Improper disposal of fats, oil, and grease left from cooking is a common mistake. When fats, oil, and grease are poured down the drain, they cling to pipe walls and solidify – causing sewer blockages, backups, and costly repairs.

Virginia Beach Public Utilities urges at-home chefs to collect and dispose of these drain-clogging substances properly. One way to do this is by finding an empty, heat-safe container, like a soup can. Once cooking oils have cooled, pour them into your container, cover it securely with a grease can lid, and store in the freezer. Once solidified, toss the can into the trash and save your lid for next time. Don’t have a grease can lid? We’ve got you covered!

FREE grease can lids and educational materials are now available at all Virginia Beach Public Library branches and the Public Utilities Business Office at 2809 S Lynnhaven Road, Suite 250, while supplies last.

Other ways you can safely dispose of used cooking oils include:

  • Wiping all pots, pans, dishes, and cooking utensils with a paper towel to absorb grease before washing.
  • Eliminating the use of your garbage disposal by using a strainer to catch food scraps in your sink, then tossing them in the trash.
  • Recycling your used cooking oils (15 gallons or less) at the Virginia Beach Landfill and Resource Recovery Center located at 1989 Jake Sears Road.
    • The facility is open Tuesday through Saturday, 7 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. Please note, in observance of the Thanksgiving holiday, the facility will be closed Thursday, Nov. 23, and Friday, Nov. 24. It will reopen on Saturday, Nov. 25. Proof of residency is required.

Myths about Fats, Oil, and Grease

It’s ok to pour grease down the drain as long as...

  • I use the garbage disposal.

    MYTH: The garbage disposal only grinds up items before passing them into your sewer pipes. The fats, oil, and grease can still cling to your pipes.
  • I chase it down with dish soap.

    MYTH: It’s true that soap breaks up grease. You see it happen every time you wash your dishes. But what you don’t see is what happens in your sewer pipes. Eventually, soap loses its effectiveness and grease solidifies and congeals on pipe walls.
  • I run hot water.

    MYTH: This myth is similar in logic to chasing grease down the drain with soap. Eventually, the water will cool, and the grease will solidify.

For more information about the best ways to dispose of fats, oil, and grease, visit

Contact Information

Public Utilities Customer Service

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