If there’s one true thing about southern cooks, it’s that we can fry almost anything. Give us a skillet, some cooking oil, fresh ingredients, and in no time at all, we’ll serve up a scrumptious home cooked meal. That’s why it’s so hard to imagine that used cooking oil and grease from these legendary creations can make such a big impact on the operation of our sewer system and water quality in local waterways. The problem (aside from all those delicious calories we are eating) is how we dispose of used cooking oil and grease.
Pour it down the drain, and it won’t take too long before you’re in a world of hurt. The cost of a plumber to clear clogged drains or a sewage backup can really add up. And on a larger scale, what happens at your home happens in Jefferson County’s sewer system. Blockages can cause sewer system overflows where raw sewage gushes out of a system manhole and makes its way to yards, streets and waterways. These events are costly to repair and unhealthy for people and the environment.
Pour it outside on the ground, and it’s nothing but an invitation to a variety of critters like snakes, rats and opossums to visit your yard.
So what should you do with your used cooking oil and grease? You could collect it and put it into the trash for pickup. But rather than treating it as waste, why not treat it as a resource and recycle it? When you recycle used cooking oil and grease at one of Jefferson County’s 19 collection stations, it is picked up by licensed vendors, processed, and reused in other products such as animal feeds, pet foods, industrial operations, and biodiesel fuel production.
And besides being a smart thing to do, recycling used cooking oil and grease is easy and free! Just pick up a new, clean, gallon jug at one of the collection stations and bring it home. Next time you have used cooking oil or grease, allow it to cool and pour it into the jug. When the jug is filled, drop it off at any collection station, pick up a new, clean jug, and repeat!
America Recycles Day Nov 15 – Learn what and how to recycle, and discover how you can get involved in this national effort.