Jefferson County, Alabama

Cooking Oil-Grease-Prescription Drug Disposal


The Jefferson County Commission supports and promotes programs that address the critical public safety and public health issues such as properly disposing of prescription drugs and disposal practices that help our sanitary sewer system function properly and efficiently. The following are some ways that you can dispose of items without causing harm to the environment or sewer system.

Household Cooking Oil & Grease

Roughly 75% of all sewer blockages are caused by fats, oils, and grease (FOG) being poured or otherwise disposed of down sink drains, costing many thousands of dollars each year in repairs, Environmental Services has created a FREE and convenient household FOG disposal program available to all residents of Jefferson County.

The purpose of the household FOG disposal program is to help prevent clogged sewer and household pipes, thereby reducing the number of SOSs.  SSOs not only create costly repairs for the County; they also can create plumbing problems and costly repairs for residents.  Recycling FOG is also a much better choice than dumping it on the ground, which attracts animals and can also wash into local creeks and streams, creating water pollution.

Here is how it works:

There are more than 23 drop off locations around Jefferson County.  

·           Simply drop by a location and get a free plastic gallon jug for your grease or use one of your own. (No glass containers please.)

·           Fill up the container with used household FOG that has had time to cool.

·           When the container is full, return it to a drop off location and pick up a new container.

Still have questions?  Contact Jefferson County’s Environmental Services Department (205-238-3876).

Prescription Drugs

Never flush unwanted prescription drugs down a toilet or pour down a sink. Water treatment systems cannot remove all of these chemicals from wastewater prior to releasing the water for reuse. The best and safest way to dispose of these items is to drop them off at a designated facility, at the annual Household Hazardous Waste day event, or one of the two biannual drug takeback day events.

The following locations can take your old medications for free. 

  • Cooper Green Mercy Hospital – a collection container is located in the lobby of their facility to accept medications and prescriptions.  Free of charge.  205-930-3200 / 1515 6th Avenue South, Birmingham 35233
  • DEA National Prescription Drug Take Back Day events are held biannually in April and October.
  • Prescription drugs are also accepted a the Household Hazardous Waste Day. 
  • Various businesses have been authorized by the DEA to accept these items in and around Jefferson County.  Click here to search for an authorized location near you.
Sanitary Sewer Overflows

Jefferson County maintains and operates more than 3,000 miles of sanitary sewer lines which serve approximately 480,000users. Residents are encouraged to immediately report a sanitary sewer overflow (SSO) by calling the 24-hour emergency call center (205-942-0681).  You can also sign up to receive alerts about overflows in your area or nearby rivers. Learn more and sign up by clicking here.