About the Program
SFGreasecycle was developed in 2007 with the intention of diverting Fats, Oils, and Grease (FOG) from city’s sewer infrastructure while addressing the market gap of residents and Food Service Establishments (FSEs) who didn’t have cost effective options to dispose of their used cooking oil.
SFGreasecycle Program Impacts
- Served over 1,100 FSEs in San Francisco (35% of all such establishments)
- Collected over 3.3 million gallons of used cooking oil from FSEs and residents
- Generated more than $5.4 millions in revenue since inception
- Reduced 49 million lbs. of CO2 emissions through production of biodiesel
Why We are Graduating the Program?
Several business and policy changes have led the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC) to decide to celebrate the success of SFGreasecycle and give private sector companies an opportunity to continue building upon the waste oil collection market potential demonstrated by the program.
Before the establishment of the SFGreasecycle program, there were very few commercial grease haulers who would pick up used cooking oil from FSEs for free, leading to illegal or unsafe practices such as dumping grease down the drain, or stockpiling it in basements and back alleys. The private sector has matured tremendously in the last 10 years. Now there are several commercial grease haulers providing free waste cooking oil collection services to the food service industry.
Success of public outreach efforts
Before the enactment of FOG control programs by the SFPUC, it was estimated that FOG related blockages cost San Francisco more than $3.5 million a year. Over the years, SFGreasecycle has conducted public outreach programs and educated businesses and residents about grease impacts on sewer infrastructure and how to keep grease away from sewers. As a result, the annual number of grease related sewer overflows has dropped significantly.
Regulatory mechanisms in place
When SFGreasecycle began in 2007, there were no requirements in place for restaurants to properly manage their used cooking oil. With the passing of the FOG Control Ordinance in 2011, restaurants are required to contract with a grease hauler for proper management of their used cooking oil. Also, the California Department of Food and Agriculture requires grease collectors to register as oil renderers, further legitimizing the industry and ensuring the proper management of cooking oil.
Transitioning from SFGreasecycle
SFGreasecycle staff will not be collecting used cooking oil from restaurants starting April 1st. Below is a list of grease haulers who provide free cooking oil pick up services in San Francisco. Please contact the businesses for more information.
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