Convert your used cooking oil into biofuel

Christmas is a time to recycle many things: bows, wrapping paper, gifts . . . and cooking oil.

The Haywood County Solid Waste Department accepts used cooking oil at all 10 convenience centers around the county and at the Materials Recovery Facility in Clyde. Used cooking oil is collected and sold to Blue Ridge Biofuels, which produces and distributes biodiesel fuel.

In fiscal year 2012-2013, Haywood County collected 1,068 gallons of used cooking oil, up from 900 gallons during the previous fiscal year.

Solid Waste Director Stephen King said that recycling cooking oil helps extend the life of sewer systems and landfills. To recycle used cooking oil, pour it into a clean plastic container with a lid, such as an empty cooking oil bottle or milk jug. King said the best containers to use are ones with a handle and a tight-fitting lid, such as a clean, empty cat litter bucket.

The cooking oil container should be kept separate from other recyclables and handed to an attendant at the convenience centers. For optimal use in converting to diesel fuel, King recommends that citizens bring in their used cooking oil frequently instead of letting it collect for a long time.

“For health and safety reasons, it’s better to bring in used cooking oil about once a month,” King said.

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