Cooking for the holidays? Consider these tips to save money, protect the environment
RALEIGH – If you’re planning to cook this holiday season, remember you can protect your pocketbook and the environment by recycling used oils and fats instead of pouring them down the drain.
Oil and grease sticks to the inside of sewer pipes and can build up until it blocks the entire pipe, leading to expensive and unpleasant cleanups. Any used cooking oil or grease, including vegetable or fish oil, bacon grease, chicken or pork fat, can be recycled and used in North Carolina-based animal feeds, biodiesel fuel and other products.
The N.C. Department of Environmental Quality, or DEQ, offers the following disposal alternatives for used cooking oils and greases:
- Let the oil and grease cool before collecting it.
- Store it by pouring it into a clean plastic container with a properly fitting lid. The container can be the oil’s original container or another clean plastic container.
- When the container is full, visit the department’s Used Cooking Oil Collection web page at http://portal.ncdenr.org/web/deao/recycling/used-cooking-oil to find out if your community has a collection program. Many North Carolina communities now offer curbside pickup of used cooking oil or have placed recycling bins throughout counties where people can drop off used cooking oil.
If your community does not have a collection program, ask that one be made available. In addition to being a simple service to offer, communities often make a small profit on the collected cooking oil. To learn more on how North Carolina communities are recycling cooking oil and grease, go to: http://portal.ncdenr.org/web/deao/recycling/used-cooking-oil/case-studies.
For more information, contact Joseph Fitzpatrick, environmental specialist with the N.C. Division of Environmental Assistance and Customer Service, at 919-707-8121.