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N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources

NC Department of Environment and Natural Resources
Environmental Assistance and Customer Service - Case Studies

Environmental Assistance and Customer Service

Fats, Oils and Grease

Cooking Oil Case StudiesThe Grease Goblin

Gaston County

Gaston County takes a unique approach to recycling waste cooking oil. The county collects waste cooking oil at each of its five convenience centers on a monthly basis. The convenience centers have a 55-gallon drum at each site to collect oil from citizens. The oil is taken to a school facility where the oil is blended with waste vegetable oil from other establishments to make biodiesel for use in the county's school buses. Their process yields almost a gallon of biodiesel for each gallon of cooking oil collected. Production is approximately 2,000 gallons per week. Nan Kirlin, Gaston County's recycling coordinator can provide more information about the program. Her email is and her phone number is 704-922-7729.


Town of Cary

After having run a successful residential waste cooking oil pilot program for 11 weeks in 2008, the town of Cary began its program in earnest on July 1, 2009. The town collects waste vegetable oil and animal fats in its curbside program. The collections are scheduled at curbside when citizens call the town with a request for pick-up. During 2011, the town collected 1,500 gallons of oil.

Bob Holden, Cary's Solid Waste Division manager, oversees the town's cooking oil collection. According to Holden, the oil is taken to a central collection area where it is picked up by Triangle Biofuels for use in its biodiesel manufacturing process. Triangle Biofuels has been paying the town of Cary 25 cents per gallon for the cooking oil collected.

Holden advises that in order to develop and maintain a successful program, local governments should have a solid waste manager who is very dedicated to the project.

For further information about the town of Cary's waste cooking oil collection program, contact either Bob Holden at 919-469-4388 or Donald Smith, the town's Utility Pretreatment manager, at 919-319-4564


Transylvania County

Transylvania County began its cooking oil recovery program in 2009. The program, which collects only waste vegetable oil, recycled 325 gallons in 2011. The county provides a 300 gallon container at one of its staffed collection centers where residents bring their cooking oil for recycling. The container is locked to prevent contamination so convenience center staff supervises the filling of the collection container. Blue Ridge Biofuels picks up the waste vegetable oil. The county neither receives money for the oil nor pays Blue Ridge Biofuels for collecting it. To learn more about Transylvania County's WVO collection program, contact Jeff Brookshire at 828-884-6830 or


Wilson County

Wilson County collects residentially generated waste cooking oil at all of its 13 recycling convenience centers. Its WVO collection program has been in place since November 2011. The county uses attractive 125 gallon-capacity plastic collection containers placed at each site by Mahoney Environmental. The company has agreed to pay Wilson County 3 cents per pound for the waste cooking oil.

Solid Waste Director Andy Davis advises other local governments that are interested in collecting WVO to aggressively promote their collection program. He comments, "The one thing we didn't do was to advertise enough. My suggestion is to advertise as much as possible".

According to Davis, the volume varies from site to site with the greatest volume being collected at the landfill collection center. To learn more about Wilson County's WVO collection program, contact Andy Davis at 252-399-2823 or .

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