The holidays bring a big increase in cooking oil recyclingAn estimated one-million tons of extra trash generated in the U.S. between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day.
By: By Lindsey Moon, Wisconsin Public Radio, Superior Telegram
An estimated one-million tons of extra trash generated in the U.S. between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day. In Wisconsin, there’s also an increased demand for recycling services. And, one of the byproducts of the holidays is being turned into fuel.
Cardboard recycling bins fill up quickly after holiday gifts are unwrapped, but Madison's City Recycling Manager George Dreckmann says that's not the only recyclable he sees more of this time of year. Dreckmann estimates the city will collect between 2,000-3,000 gallons of used cooking oil before New Year's, “The collection tanks are available all year long, but the holiday season is a very, very heavy time for us with people bringing in material because that’s a time when people get out their turkey fryers. Household deep frying, while it is certainly something that people do, is not something that’s done on a very regular basis or with very large quantities of oil, but that does happen during the holidays.”
And not just for Thanksgiving and Christmas. Myrna Diemert, the Director of Solid Waste in Adams County, says residents in her area get out their turkey fryers for hunting season, “We had a large amount of people who were asking about where they could dispose of grease from their turkey fryers. Everybody hunts here and then fries their turkeys in these five gallon fryers, so everybody had this grease and wanted to know how they could dispose of it."
After the used oil is collected, it is filtered and converted into biodiesel. George Dreckmann of Madison hopes that the cooking oil recycling program will continue to grow so that the city can use the converted fuel in city buses. In addition to Madison and Adams County, cooking oil recycling is also available in Brown County, Pierce County and in Milwaukee.