The St. Charles Natural Resources Commission is hosting its first-ever cooking oil collection from 9 a.m. to noon Saturday, Nov. 27, in the parking lot of the St. Charles Public Works Office, 1405 South 7th Ave.
Any liquid veggie based cooking oil is accepted, and you can get your cooking oil recycled into biodiesel by Green Grease at this one day collection event.
Bring your liquid, vegetable based cooking oil in a sealed container to be recycled. Oil must be in a container with a lid that is secure (milk jug with lid, oil container with lid, detergent bottle with lid). No animal fats are accepted (any oil/fat that solidifies).
Recycle Thanksgiving Cooking Oil
The holiday cooking season is approaching. If you’re planning on deep frying a turkey, or anything else for that matter, make sure to avoid costly mistakes, and a visit from the plumber, by properly disposing of kitchen F.O.G. (Fats, Oils, and Grease).
According to the EPA, FOG causes a full 47% of sewer backups nationally. Even small amounts of grease and oil can cause a problem over time. Back in 2014, London had to clear out a 15-ton clog in municipal pipes, dubbed the “fatburg”.
Cooking oil not only causes clogs but can negatively affect wildlife if dumped outdoors or in storm drains. So much so, the EPA regulates cooking oil in the same way it handles petroleum oil.
Cooking Oil Today, Fuel Tomorrow
Liquids do not belong in the trash, which makes it tricky to dispose of vegetable oils (i.e. those not solid at room temperature). Lucky for folks in and around Kane County, there are nine year round locations that collect used liquid cooking oil.
Additionally, a handful of towns continue to offer one-day collection points the Saturday after Thanksgiving. These collections take the used cooking oil and convert it into biodiesel. Some of the benefits are:
- Biodiesel is cleaner burning – emissions from 100% biodiesel are 74% lower than petroleum diesel according to Argonne Labs
- Some collection points make and use the biodiesel on-site – ultra-local energy!
- Biodiesel is non-toxic and biodegradable
It’s Easy To Do Your Part
Hang on to your used liquid cooking oil. Allow it to cool, pour it into a container with a lid and bring it to a drop off location. SCARCE recommends holding onto the container it came in for this purpose.
Here are some additional tips for handling F.O.G.
- For larger amounts of grease or animal fat (i.e. the stuff that solidifies at room temperature), allow it to cool and pour it into a plastic container with a lid. Some store their oil under the sink until it’s full, then place it in the trash.
- When cleaning up, scrape leftover food into the trash, don’t send it down the sink. Saves water and prevents trace fats from clogging your pipes.
- After allowing pans to cool, wipe them out with a rag or paper towel before you wash them to remove excess fat and oil.
‘There’s Gold in Them Thar’ Fryers!”
Used cooking oil is actually a valuable commodity, nowhere near the value of actual gold, but enough so that reports of cooking oil thieves have popped up. Next time you fry, think of it as “panning for gold”. Collect your liquid cooking oil and recycle it. Your pipes, and the planet, will thank you.
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