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Forty West Landfill now recycling cooking oils, greases

November 18, 2009

Washington County residents can now take used and unused cooking oils and greases to the Forty West Landfill for recycling, county spokesman Norman Bassett said in a news release.

The free service is being introduced in time for the holidays, when the increasing popularity of deep-fried turkey makes it especially important to manage cooking oils that often get poured down the drain, Bassett said.

About 50 percent of all sanitary sewer overflow events are caused by used cooking oils, fats and grease clogging the system, he said.

Deputy Director of Environmental Management Cliff Engle said any type of liquid vegetable oil used in residential kitchens, such as peanut, corn, canola, olive and safflower oil, will be accepted for recycling, along with animal-based cooking greases like bacon grease, renderings and lard.   

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The service is designed to assist residential customers. No commercial oils or grease from restaurants, cafeterias, etc., will be accepted, Bassett said. There is a five-gallon daily limit.

Cooking oils and grease may be taken to the Forty West Landfill recycling area during normal facility hours and placed into a designated cooking oil and grease recycling tank adjacent to the recycling lot attendant building. 

Security is important, so residents will need to see the attendant for access to the cooking oil and grease recycling tank, Bassett said.

Residents should make sure the cooking oil or grease is not mixed with other fluids such as water, petroleum products or soaps, and should place the cooking oils or grease into a container with a tight-fitting lid, he said. Metal or plastic containers are preferred. Officials advise against filling the container while the cooking oil or grease is still hot, as this could cause the container to crack or split, Bassett said.

Other oils and greases such as motor or lubricating oils are not accepted through this program. Tanks for recycling of petroleum-based oil and grease are provided separately at the recycling area.

Used cooking oil and grease are recycled into several valuable commodities, including biofuels and animal feeds, Bassett said.

The Forty West Landfill, one mile west of Huyetts Crossroads on U.S. 40, is open from 7 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Monday through Saturday. It will be closed Nov. 26 and 27, but will reopen for business Nov. 28 at 7 a.m.

For more information, call 240-313-2790.

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