Holiday grease collection starts Friday in Raleigh

sgilman@newsobserver.comNovember 1, 2013 

— The city of Raleigh has again begun picking up containers of unwanted cooking oil and grease from the curb outside homes or places of worship.

Put the grease in a clear plastic container marked “used cooking oil,” call the city’s Solid Waste Services Department at 919-996-6980 and leave the container at the curb. Piedmont Biofuels of Pittsboro will convert the oil and grease into biofuels.

Raleigh has collected oil and grease at the curb during the holiday season for five years and usually gets between 600 and 900 gallons a year. The city runs the program only during the holidays, when people are doing more home cooking than usual. This pickup season will last from now through Jan. 15.

Though it costs the city money, the program is “the right thing to do,” said Marti Gibson, environmental coordinator for wastewater. Oil and grease can clog sewer pipes, and for years the city has been urging residents not to pour them down the drain.

“If we’re asking people not to flush it, we need to give them a place to put it,” Gibson said.

The grease campaign has reduced the number of sewer clogs from oil and grease, Gibson said, but they still occur. Last month, more than 21,500 gallons of sewage spilled into Richland Creek in West Raleigh after an 8-inch PVC pipe became clogged with grease and paper, according to the city.

Cary also collects cooking oil and grease at the curb. Residents can schedule pickup by calling the town at 919-469-4090.

Gilman: 919-829-8955

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