By: Claire Tribble
Did you know that we have a FREE program in Athens to recycle used fats, oils, and grease for Limestone County residents? It’s called F.O.G. This program was started by the Athens Wastewater Department and Keep Athens-Limestone Beautiful in 2012. All residents are encouraged to participate and help the City of Athens and Limestone County as well as the environment!
What are the purposes of this program you ask? The main purpose of this program is to reduce the number of clogs in our water pipes. Whether your residential pipes or city pipes get clogged, it becomes a very expensive problem very fast! Even pouring small amounts of grease, fats, and oils down the drain causes problems — that little bit will only move so far down the pipe before it hardens and sticks to a pipe. The next time you pour your grease down the drain, it may attach to that build up, or even start a new one. Then those little bits of food that make their way down the drain start to stick to that grease. Before you know it, you have a clog, and that’s where it gets expensive!
Another benefit of recycling fats, oils, and grease is they are processed into a variety of products! The most popular biproduct of the recycled oils is biodiesel fuel. Using the recycled oil to produce this fuel helps drive down the cost of fuel. Another major use of the recycled products is animal feed. The most common feed brands use fats, oils, and grease in their feeds, so having a recycled source also helps drive down costs.
Everyone can participate! There are white cages in front of the Keep Athens-Limestone Beautiful office and the Athens Utilities office on Wilkerson Street which contain empty one-gallon jugs for you to take home and fill up. When the jug is full, simply bring it back and place it on the bottom shelf of the cage and get an empty jug. You can even use old containers from home (if they aren’t contaminated with chemicals, of course). We even have some food trucks that bring BIG containers of their used oils, and we love that!
Saving your used cooking oils for recycling is an easy way to help everyone, especially yourself! No one wants water backing up in their home because of a clog. And there definitely isn’t anyone who wants to pay the bill that will come along with that clog! So run by our office or the Athens Utilities office and grab a white jug and start collecting today!
By: Claire Tribble – Executive Director, Keep Athens-Limestone Beautiful