Jefferson County CEO Tony Petelos this week reminded residents to “Cease the Grease” by recycling their used cooking oil and grease, especially during the upcoming holiday season.
“Thanksgiving is the start of the holidays which often includes meals and social gatherings with family and friends,” said Petelos. “Jefferson County’s Household Cooking Oil and Grease Recycling Program provides a free and convenient way for residents to prevent costly repairs and inconvenience by keeping oil and grease out of their kitchen sink drains and consequently out of the sanitary sewer system.”
Jefferson County currently maintains 21 Household Cooking Oil and Grease Recycling Centers throughout the County. Each Center contains free plastic gallon jugs for residents to take home and fill with used cooking oil and grease. Once jugs are full, residents can drop them off at a center and take a new container.
Proper disposal of used cooking oil and grease can save Jefferson County residents both money and time. Pouring cooking oil or grease down the kitchen drain creates clogged drains at home as well as clogs and overflows in the sanitary sewer system. Service calls to unclog drains can be expensive and disruptive to your holiday events. Sanitary sewer system overflows can cause raw sewage to flow into streets and yards, back up into homes, and pollute local creeks and streams. Raw sewage is a serious health hazard to people and the environment.
Deep fried turkeys and other fried foods can create many gallons of used cooking oil and grease which always should be recycled, not poured down drains or onto the ground. Even everyday meal preparation generates some amount of oil and grease which should be scraped into a container and recycled, never washed down the kitchen drain, since it can build up in the pipes.
Disposing of used cooking oil or grease outside on the ground attracts animals and insects, some of which can carry disease or become pests. In addition, rain washes oil and grease on the ground into local streams, affecting water quality and harming fish.
Recycling used household cooking oil and grease at one of Jefferson County’s 21 Centers is a free and easy way to help reduce clogs at home and problems in the sanitary sewer system. Jefferson County maintains and operates over 3,000 miles of sanitary sewer lines which serve 480,000 people.