TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) - The Pima County Regional Wastewater Reclamation Department (RWRD) collected a record-breaking amount of used cooking oils and grease at its Annual Grease Collection and Recycling Event on Jan. 5 across 6 different locations in Pima County.
Community members contributed over 1,000 pounds of grease more than the previous year, totaling in 8,700 pounds.
“We would like to thank our partners who worked hard to make this event possible; the Town of Sahuarita, Jacobs, Grecycle, and Gold Star Pumping,” said Jackson Jenkins, RWRD Director. “Most importantly, thank you community members for your efforts in storing the grease and bringing it to our event. We appreciate your environmental stewardship and desire to help us keep our sewers clean.”
Local businesses and ratepayers are saving money when grease can avoid going down the sewer. Even pouring small amounts down the drain can block pipes over time and force costly repairs. As fat and oil travel down drains, build-ups and blockages can occur in the main lines and cause dangerous sewage overflows onto public and private property.
For the last 14 years, RWRD has held their Annual Grease Collection and Recycling Event to educate the public on the importance of keeping grease out of the sewer system. To date, the grease campaign has collected 55,300 pounds of grease, which is thanks to RWRD’s partnership with Grecycle. The grease collected has been converted into biodiesel, a cleaner burning fuel that reduces dependence on crude oil.
Although the large scale collection event is over, RWRD encourages residents to continue storing, not pouring their grease. The Department offers a year-round collection site at the Agua Nueva Water Reclamation Facility, 2947 W Calle Agua Nueva, Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m.
To learn the best practices on how to keep the sewers clean, visit pima.gov/grease or call (520) 405-0438.