The Main Stream

Nov 21, 2012 5:38 PM by Jake Merriman

County offering grease recycling on the day after Thanksgiving

TUCSON - Thanksgiving can be dirty business, and pouring that leftover grease down the drain can wreak havoc on the county's sewer system.

In an effort to preview this, the Pima County Regional Wastewater Reclamation Department and its community partners will host the Eighth Annual Day-After-Thanksgiving Grease Collection and Recycling Event on Friday, November 23, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

According to a news release for the Pima County Regional Wastewater Reclamation Department, this event is held each year on the day after Thanksgiving so that people can be reminded of how to appropriately dispose of used cooking grease. Ordinary kitchen cooking grease build up can clog sewer pipes, reduce sewage flow and act as a magnet for other debris. This build-up can eventually clog lines and result in Sanitary Sewer Overflows, or SSOs.

County officials ask that the public does not pour used cooking grease down the drain to avoid a grease-related SSO. People are encouraged to allow grease or oils to cool and pour them into a can or a jar after cooking with them, and also to wipe grease from pots, pans, and plates with a paper towel before washing them. Both the greasy paper towels and the can or jar be safely discarded in your trash. These simple rules can help to save the county's sewers, officials say.

You can bring your used cooking oil on the Day-After-Thanksgiving to one of the four grease collection locations.

The drop-off location for the east side of Tucson is at O'Reilly Chevrolet, which is located at 6160 E. Broadway Blvd. The midtown drop-off site is at the Tucson City Council Ward 3 at 1510 E. Grant Road. The northwest-site is at Pima County Wastewater Control at 5025 W. Ina Road. The collection in the south is located at Tucson Water Plant #2, which is at 1102 W. Irvington Road.

The used cooking oil will be recycled into biodiesel, which is a cleaner burning fuel for the environment.

Last year, the event collected over 4,653 pounds of used cooking oil. Since the program began in 2005, more than 18,353 pounds of used cooking oil has been collected.

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