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Frying a turkey? Here’s how to safely dispose of cooking grease in the Triangle

Whether you’re deep frying your turkey or using oil for other dishes, Thanksgiving has the potential to generate lots of cooking grease. There are ways to dispose of it safely.

Whether you’re deep frying your turkey or using oil for other dishes, Thanksgiving has the potential to generate lots of cooking grease. There are ways to dispose of it safely.

MCT

Whether you’re deep frying your turkey or using oil for other dishes, Thanksgiving has the potential to generate lots of cooking grease.

When disposing of cooking grease, the easiest choice might seem to be dumping that grease down your sink drain — DO NOT DO THAT! Pouring grease or oil down the drain can be hazardous for your pipes and for the environment.

Here’s why, according to the N.C. Department of Environmental Quality.

When fats, oils and grease are allowed to go down drains, they solidify, reducing and preventing water flow in drains and sewer pipes.

Clogs in municipal sewer collection system pipes — sometimes referred to as “fat-bergs” — can potentially result in raw sewage being released into communities, causing potentially dangerous health conditions.

Luckily, many cities and counties offer grease collection and drop-off services, either during the holidays or year-round, to help you properly dispose of the waste.

Here’s some information on those programs around the Triangle.

Raleigh holiday grease collection

The City of Raleigh is offering a free seasonal grease collection service now through Jan. 14, 2022.

Raleigh residents and places of worship may dispose of used cooking grease and cooking oil free of charge by calling 919-996-3245 and selecting option 2 to schedule a pickup.

Grease collection will be on the same day as customers’ regular garbage pickup. Place your container of grease on the curb by 7:30 a.m. on your garbage pickup day.

Used cooking grease should be placed in clear plastic containers, sealed and labeled “used cooking oil.

The city says grease collected from Raleigh residents and places of worship will be converted to biofuels, a renewable source of energy used to power vehicles, heat homes and cook food.

For more information on Raleigh’s grease collection program, visit raleighnc.gov/news/curbside-grease-collection.

Cary residential waste cooking oil disposal program

The Town of Cary has been offering its full-time, year-round Residential Waste Cooking Oil Disposal Program since 2009.

Items accepted in the program include:

Cooking oils (vegetable, corn, peanut, sunflower, canola, olive, soybean, flaxseed or any combination of edible cooking oils)

Margarine

Animal fats and greases (tallow, lard, butter or any combination of animal fats)

To schedule a free curbside pickup at your single-family home:

Call 919-469-4090 or fill out a request via the town’s online services portal.

Place waste cooking oil and grease in a sealable food container, such as the original oil container or a soda, juice or milk bottle. Use plastic or metal sealable screw-top containers only. A minimum of a half-gallon of waste oil or grease is required for collection.

Label the container with “Waste Cooking Oil” and secure the cap or lid to prevent spillage.

Place the container at the curb by 7 a.m. on the day of your scheduled pickup.

Residents living in multi-family communities, such as apartments and townhomes, should organize grease collection through their property managers.

Property managers should contact Maria Vanderloop, the town’s utility pretreatment program supervisor, at 919-319-4564 to coordinate a collection event in their neighborhood.

The town says the cooking oil and grease collected is recycled into an environmentally beneficial biofuel.

For more information, visit townofcary.org/services-publications/water-sewer/sewer/pretreatment/fats-oils-and-grease-control.

IMG_FRYCROOKS03.NE.05251_3_1_5M2P1H9L.JPG
Used fryer oil from your Thanksgiving turkey can be collected through city and county programs and converted into biofuel. News & Observer staff file photo

Wake County cooking oil recycling

Residents throughout Wake County can drop off cooking oil at the county’s Multi-Material Recycling Facilities.

Three sites are available:

North Wake Multi-Material Recycling Facility at 9029 Deponie Drive in Raleigh

South Wake Multi-Material Recycling Facility at 6130 Old Smithfield Road in Apex

East Wake Multi-Material Recycling Facility at 5051 Wendell Boulevard in Wendell

Note: All Multi-Material Recycling Facilities will be closed on Thursday, Nov. 25. The sites will follow normal operating schedules on Friday, Nov. 26. The hours vary at each site.

City of Durham household hazardous waste

City of Durham residents can drop off used cooking oil at the city’s Household Hazardous Waste Center, located at 2115 East Club Boulevard.

For more information, call the waste center at 919-560-4611.

Note: Durham County does not currently have a policy to regulate cooking oil disposal by residential customers.

Orange County household hazardous waste collection

Orange County residents can take up to 15 gallons at a time of used cooking or fryer oil to the county’s household hazardous waste collection centers.

Two sites are available:

Eubanks Road Waste & Recycling Center at 1514 Eubanks Road in Chapel Hill

Walnut Grove Church Road Waste & Recycling Center at 3605 Walnut Grove Church Road in Hillsborough

Note: Orange County’s Waste & Recycling centers are closed on Thanksgiving Day.

Hillsborough fat trapper kits

The Town of Hillsborough offers fat trapper kits for free to Hillsborough water and sewer customers.

Each kit contains a fat trapper container, two foil-lined bags that can withstand temperatures up to 150 degrees and a pan scraper.

To receive a kit, or to receive additional bags if you already have the trappers, contact Utilities Infrastructure Protection Supervisor Troy Miller at 919-296-9653 or by using the town’s online form. Put “fat trapper” in the subject line.

Hillsborough residents can recycle used oil at Orange County household hazardous waste collection centers.

For more information, visit hillsboroughnc.gov/news/news/2021/11/19/1137/show-your-sewer-system-some-gratitude-keep-grease-out.html.

This story was originally published November 24, 2021 11:17 AM.

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Korie Dean is a reporter on The News & Observer’s service journalism team. She is a graduate of the Hussman School of Journalism and Media at UNC-Chapel Hill and a lifelong North Carolinian.



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