Got Oil? What to do with Leftover Turkey Grease | News

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Got Oil? What to do with Leftover Turkey Grease
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ST. JOHNS COUNTY, Fla. -- The turkey is fried, eaten and packed away in the fridge for tomorrow.  Now you have to get rid of the cooking oil used to prepare it.  This year for the first time ever, St. Johns County will be recycling Thanksgiving oil for biodiesel.

According to St. Johns County Environmental Coordinator, Stacy Kowlsen, the county has been making its own biodiesel for about five years, but they have never asked the public to donate the oil needed.

Monday, the county is partnering with the City of St. Augustine to collect the used oil at two drop sites:

  • 25 West Castillo Drive (Francis Event Field)
  • 3000 Industry Center Drive

Kowlsen explained this provides a way for the public to get rid of their leftover grease and prevents people from pouring it down the sink.

"What happens is the grease moves from your kitchen sink and then it solidifies down in one of the utility lines and then it goes out the manhole or the storm drain or out of the lift station and before you know it, we have raw sewage running down the street and into the waterways," Kowlsen said.

After processing, the county uses the biodiesel in many of its large, diesel trucks.  Biofuel Technician Ray Inman said each gallon of used oil creates one gallon of biodiesel. 

"Our production cost for a gallon of biodiesel is about $2.00 per gallon and when you compare that to buying  a gallon of petroleum diesel at about $3.25 - $3.30 a gallon, there's an obvious cost savings there," Inman explained.

This year's recycling program will not only save taxpayers from having to buy more fuel for county vehicles, but it will also save the utility department from having to clean up future sewage spills caused by grease clogging up county pipes.

Monday's collection will begin at 7:30 a.m. and run through 4:30 p.m.

After that, residents can drop off their used cooking oil at:

  • 2730 Industry Center Road (St. Johns County Fleet Maintenance Biodiesel Dept.)
  • 250 North Stratton Road (St. Johns County Solid Waste Transfer Station)
  • 3005 Allen Nease Road (St. Johns County Solid Waste Transfer Station)
  • 860 West 16th Street (St. Johns County Utilities)
  • 501 Riberia Street (St. Augustine Wastewater Treatment Plant)

If you plan to drop off any oil, put it in a disposable container.  You will not be able to get it back. 

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