Be sure to recycle that turkey grease - Tucson Local Media: Pima Pinal

Be sure to recycle that turkey grease

Friday event keeps it out of sewer system, makes it available for burning

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Posted: Wednesday, November 26, 2008 12:00 am | Updated: 8:04 am, Thu Mar 24, 2011.

For the fourth year, entities are teaming for the Day After Thanksgiving Grease Recycling event this Friday, Nov. 28.

From 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Friday, people can bring their turkey grease to the Pima County RWRD Industrial Waste Control, 5025 W. Ina Road. There are five total collection sites around Tucson, and one in Sahuarita.

“The sites are strategically placed around Tucson to better serve the community. This gives everyone an opportunity to participate,” said Colleen Crowninshield, manager of the Clean Cities program at Pima Association of Governments. “We are proud to be a part of such an event that positively affects our community.”

The effort, which Pima County Wastewater participates in as part of the Save Our Sewers Grease Campaign, is designed “to educate the public on the hazards of pouring grease into our sewer systems and to bring education and awareness to biodiesel, which can be made from recycled grease,” a release said.

“Last year’s event was better than ever, collecting a total of 2,800 pounds of grease,” said Mike Kazz, owner of Greycycle. “The event has been so successful that we are receiving calls from all over the United States from municipalities wanting to duplicate the event in their area.”

Grecycle is a Tucson-based organization that provides a collection service for used cooking oil. The oils and grease will be turned into biodiesel to be used in diesel engines as a clean-burning fuel, the release continued.

According to Laura Fairbanks, community relations manager for the Pima County Regional Wastewater Reclamation Department, Pima County’s sanitary sewer overflows have significantly declined since 2003, from 10 overflows in January of 2003 to one overflow in January of 2008.

“Although we can’t directly link the reduction to the efforts of our grease recycling day, I believe there is a link,” Fairbanks said. “We are educating the public to other options for their grease than pouring it down our drains.”

The Clean Cities program at Pima Association of Governments is a voluntary public / private partnership tasked with accelerating the use of clean alternative fuel vehicles and building local infrastructure to support fueling of these vehicles.

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