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Cooking oil gets kicked to curb in Raleigh

Posted November 9, 2009
Updated November 10, 2009

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— A lot of turkeys will be cooked in the next two months.

The City of Raleigh hopes the cooks will use a new recycling program to get rid of used cooking oil.

Raleigh tries out curbside cooking-oil recycling Raleigh tries out curbside cooking-oil recycling

The targets of the program are residents like Stephen Ludwig, a former restaurant worker who cooks a lot at home.

"(I use) probably half-a-quart a week, a quart" of cooking oil, Ludwig said.

Raleigh's curbside cooking-oil recycling program is designed to keep that grease out of sewer lines. Once poured down a sink drain, the oil solidifies in pipes.

"It acts like a super-glue almost, so that anything else you send down the drain kind of sticks," said Marti Gibson, the city's environmental management system coordinator.

Once solidified and stuck to the pipes, the oil can block sewer lines and cause sewage overflows.

Under the curbside recycling program, city crews will collect residents' old cook oil.

Call the city to let them know you have some cooking oil. Put it in a plastic container with a lid, and write "cooking oil" on the side. Then put it out with your regular recycling.

The collected cooking oil will be transformed into biofuels by Triangle Biofuels in Wilson, which is paying Raleigh 25 cents for every gallon of used oil.

"It's a waste product which we're recycling, re-using to a very good purpose," said Rich Cregar, an automotive instructor at Wake Technical Community College and a faculty fellow at the Institute for Emerging Issues at North Carolina State University.

The pilot program runs through Jan. 15, 2010. If it's successful, city officials might create a year-round cooking-oil recycling program.


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  • coolwill43 Nov 9, 2009

    Lenorado, you sound like one of those people that believe that if we don’t allow the government to do for us we would not survived; did you agree with meeker first ruling dealing with garbage disposal? Imagine if there was a place throughout the city to take our used grease, at .25 per gallon and with the proceeds going to the homeless or those out of work, think about how beneficial it would be and that this local government would not have to waste any fuel doing it. If I fry a turkey using 5 gallons of peanut oil I may have 4 gallons ($1.00) of used oil left and if we are not restricted to the holidays this could turn into a lot of help for needed people.

  • aintbackingdwn Nov 9, 2009

    I've had it with the city - since the new ordinance I include my motor oil and old paint with the kitchen oil down the drain. Now that the garbage can't include any plastic bottles I've concidered giving them a nice helping of the my household fluids in the trash container as well.

  • jse830fcnawa030klgmvnnaw+ Nov 9, 2009

    DeathRow-IFeelYourPain-NOT, are you that lazy that you can't take the used oil to one of 11 convenience centers in Wake County?

    Info at http://www.wakegov.com/recycling/residents/conveniencectrs.htm

  • smcallah Nov 9, 2009

    "I pour it into a 2-Liter Coke bottle and drop it in the trash. Works just fine for me, thank you."

    It is illegal now to put plastic soda bottles in the trash in all of North Carolina.

  • esprg Nov 9, 2009

    I know I'm still tired I thought this was about using recycled cooking oil

  • DeathRow-IFeelYourPain-NOT Nov 9, 2009

    Leonardo, you have to pick your battles. Yes, there are Tons of "little things" that can be done to help. But if you tried to do them ALL, you would give up. I pick and choose according to its overall effect on the environment. I do a few of the worst ones, and make a little difference. If the government wants my trash divided 27 ways, I'll put it by the curb and they can do it themselves. Its the ONLY way they will ever get 100% participation in all recycling.

  • WHEEL Nov 9, 2009

    CALL THE CITY AHEAD OF TIME. This should take a lot of advanced planning on the City's part. LABEL IT "COOKING OIL" O Yeah, a lot of other semi viscous brown liquids are going to be involved so we don't want any confusion. This looks like something Allen did in his spare time while he was screwing up the utilities billin system.

  • dcatz Nov 9, 2009

    Do *not* give your cooking oil to the city gratis. It can be converted into fuel for diesel engines and is much more valuable in that mileau. If they want fuel, they should have to pay for it.

  • Leonardo Nov 9, 2009

    DeathRow: "I pour it into a 2-Liter Coke bottle and drop it in the trash. Works just fine for me, thank you."

    That's what bugs me about conservatives. There are simple things you can do to make this world a better place to live in, like recycling your cooking oil. Yet conservatives go out of their way to be obnoxious pigs just to spite the "liberal environmentalists". I'm sure if they could, they'd be burning tires in their back yards, giving us all emphysema, just for the sake of it.

  • Leonardo Nov 9, 2009

    coolwill43: "The city of Raleigh is to make money from this, say no to meeker. "

    Oh yea...at $.25/gallon, they're making a KILLING! They should fund the entire government through cooking oil!

    Something makes me think some of you people flunked math in school. The $.25/gallon 'profit' is probably mostly eaten up by the additional labor of having to pick up that oil (it is additional work for the garbage collectors after all). The much-despised government isn't making a profit on this. The purpose of this is to keep people from pouring grease down the drain and causing expensive sewer clogs. This allows them to do it without incurring additional cost to the taxpayers. Kudos for them!

    But heck, if you think your grease is so valuable, nobody is FORCING you to recycle your oil. Keep it for yourself and store it under your mattress if you think it's worth so much.