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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

Used Cooking Oil Collection Program

Quick Guide to Setting up a Public Cooking Oil Collection Program

  1. Determine need in community for UCO
    • Is there public demand?
    • Does your community have sanitary sewer overflow issues?
  2. Locate UCO haulers that service your area. (DEACS Recycling Markets Directory)
  3. Determine container size, type, and drop off locations.
    • Vendors can help with container size determination.
    • Staffed convenience centers are best locations.
    • If possible, place containers in sight of attendant.
  4. Negotiate service terms with vendor
  5. Develop signage, outreach and edcuational materials for the public. (DEACS can assist)
  6. Educate convenience center staff and public about program, determine if staff or public will pour used oil into storage tank.
  7. Continually assess program to determine if is needs adjusting.
  8. Report gallons collected on Annual Solid Waste Materials Management Report.

Program Examples

A public used cooking cooking oil collection program is easy to operate and can produce revenue for communities. Used cooking oil collection companies, including the growing number of in-state biodiesel producers, typically will provide containers and service at no cost, in addition to paying communities for the collected oil. UCO collection companies/vendors can be identified through our recycling marketing directory (RMD). Click hereto visit the RMD.

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Wilson County

Wilson County collects residentially generated used cooking oil at all of its 13 recycling convenience centers. Their UCO 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.

Solid Waste Director Andy Davis advises other local governments that are interested in collecting UCO 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 UCO collection program, contact Andy Davis at 252-399-2823 or .

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Gaston County

Gaston County takes a unique approach to recycling used cooking oil, collecting it at each of their five convenience centers once a month. The convenience centers have a 55-gallon drum at each site in which they collect oil from citizens. The oil is taken to a school facility where the oil is blended with used vegetable oil from other establishments to make biodiesel for use in the county’s school busses. 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. She can be reached at  or 704-922-7729.

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Town of Cary

The used cooking oil drop off center for the Town of CaryAfter having run a successful residential waste cooking oil pilot program for eleven weeks in 2008, the Town of Cary began its program in earnest on July 1, 2009. The town collects used 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 their biodiesel manufacturing process.

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 used cooking oil collection program (www.townofcary.org), contact either Bob Holden at 919-469-4388 or , or Donald Smith, the town’s Utility Pretreatment Manager, at 919-319-4564 or .

 

 

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Transylvania County

Transylvania County began its used cooking oil recovery program in 2009. The program, which collects only used 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 used vegetable oil. To learn more about Transylvania County’s UCO collection program, contact Jeff Brookshire at 828-884-6830 or .

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