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How To Dispose Of Used Cooking Oil After Thanksgiving Feast

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Sonora, CA – After today’s Thanksgiving feast, many will face the dilemma of getting rid of used cooking oil.

County waste officials relay, “No need for feathers to get ruffled anymore; Tuolumne County Public Works, Solid Waste Division now offers used cooking oil disposal at our Household Hazardous Waste collection facility located in Jamestown.”

The facility only takes “clean” used liquid cooking oil, with no fats or grease allowed. Instead, they advise that fats and grease that are solid at room temperature can go into the garbage. The best way to do that is to put the grease in a tightly sealed container before disposing of it.

Up to five gallons of used (clean) cooking oil per resident is accepted, but business waste is not allowed. Used cooking oil will be recycled to use as livestock feed or used to make biodiesel fuel, according to public works officials. The facility is open one day per month, by appointment only, by contacting the Tuolumne County Solid Waste Division at (209) 533-5588 to schedule an appointment.

Tuolumne Utilities District (TUD) also gives these tips to “Trap the Grease” to avoid potential plumbing and sewer disasters:

• Avoid pouring fats or vegetable cooking oils down the drain because liquid fats
solidify in the pipes and can create clogs.
• After grease has cooked, scrape the grease into a container with a tight-fitting lid.
Solidify it in the refrigerator before putting it in the trash.
• Never put hard to grind items in your garbage disposal, including poultry skins,
eggshells, carrots, celery, pumpkin pulp, banana peels, or pasta.

Additionally, CAL Fire reminds chefs to avoid using water on grease fires when cooking, as it escalates the danger. The best way to put out an oil fire is to smother the flames with a lid and immediately turn off the stove. Also, prevent spills and burns by always turning the skillet handles to the back. Following these simple steps contributes to a safe and enjoyable holiday cooking experience, as CAL Fire notes that “safety is the best ingredient for a perfect holiday feast!”