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Portland Cracking Down On Grease Disposal

Matt Cardy, Getty Images

First it was wet wipes, now it’s grease causing sewer problems.

Restaurants and residents are being told to hold onto their fat, oil and grease. Clogs and costly maintenance are forcing Portland officials to ask folks to not let that grease go down the drain. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is putting pressure on many city’s to more effectively treat wastewater.

Portland has spent more than $100 million to improve the city’s sewer infrastructure. Even still, preventing fat, oil and grease from causing problems will be falling on restaurants.

Portland’s Public Services Department has started notifying applicants of restaurant licenses that grease-collection systems need to be installed. They cost between $4,000-$10,000, depending on restaurant size. Currently only new restaurants are required to have the systems, however an expansion may be down the road.

As for residents of P-Town? They’re being asked to collect fats, greases and oils in containers and dispose of it in the trash. Wiping excess grease out of pots and pans before washing also can help.

Last year the city spent about $60,000 cleaning out 70 tons of grease from the sewer system.

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