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Metropolitan Wastewater Press Release

November 18, 2003

Michael Scahill
(858) 292-6403


San Diego - An important part of the holiday season is cooking and baking. An unavoidable byproduct of all that time spent in the kitchen is used cooking fats, oils and grease, collectively known as F.O.G. And F.O.G. makes up the second leading cause of all sewer spills in San Diego. These spills occur primarily in residential areas and are the result of residents disposing of fats, oils and grease down a sink drain.

City of San Diego residents can recycle their used fats, cooking oil and grease at the Miramar Landfill Recycling Center. A F.O.G. recycling bin is available to City residents for disposal of up to 30 gallons of cooking oil and cooking grease. There is no charge for the service.

The move to add cooking oil recycling to the Recycling Center comes in response to a growing number of City residents seeking to dispose of a volume of cooking oil without pouring it down the drain or throwing it in the trash. A grease recycling bin was available last year during the Thanksgiving to New Year's holiday season last year at the Metropolitan Wastewater Department's headquarters in Kearny Mesa. "In less than six weeks, City residents dropped off more than 5,000 pounds of grease and oil for recycling," noted Councilmember Scott Peters. "Much of the oil that was dropped off was the side effect of the popularity of deep fried turkeys. Those deep fryers hold between 15 to 30 gallons of oil and pouring the used oil down the drain would have caused serious problems to the sewer system."

Cooking oil recycling is being provided by the City's Environmental Services Department, the Metropolitan Wastewater Department, the Allan Co., and Darling Restaurant Services. Darling has donated the recycling bin along with regular service of the bin. According to Dana Foraker, Station Manager of Darling Restaurant Services, the decision to donate the recycling was a matter of community pride. "We've gotten a lot of calls from residents asking if we accepted used cooking oil at our Miramar Road headquarters," said Mr. Foraker. "Unfortunately, we don't have those facilities here. That's why we offered to donate the bin and recycling services to the City at the Recycling Center. It's our City too, and this is a very practical way to help keep our beaches and bays free of sewer spills."

The Recycling Center at the Miramar Landfill is located at 5165 Convoy Street, just before the toll booth into Landfill. Hours are Monday-Friday, 7 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, 7:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. City residents can "deposit" up to 30 gallons of used cooking oil or cooking grease at a time. The recycling service is not open to commercial food preparation businesses.


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