Frying a turkey this Thanksgiving? Jefferson County wants to recycle your cooking oil and grease


Frying a turkey this Thanksgiving? Jefferson County wants to properly dispose and recycle your used cooking oil and grease.

Yesterday, three days before Thanksgiving, the  Jefferson County Commission held a news conference demonstrating and encouraging local residents how  to properly dispose turkey frying oil by recycling it at one of their 22 locations.

Here is a map of the cooking oil locations.


Why recycling your cooking oil matters

Jefferson County CEO and County Manager Tony Petelos described why recycling cooking oil, especially the large quantity created from frying turkeys matters.

“We know frying turkeys for Thanksgiving is popular in the South. However, the cooking oil and grease that is used in the process can be seriously damaging to household pipes and the sewer system. We offer a household grease recycling system that is free, simple and easy to use. Most of all it protects homeowners and the environment.”

Recycling turkey cooking oil and grease in Jefferson County – Step by step instructions

  • Find one of Jefferson County’s cooking oil recycling centers listed online [click here]. There are 22 in Jefferson County, so there is bound to be one near your community.
  • Drop by a center and get a free plastic gallon jug for your grease or use one of your own.
  • Once you have fried your turkey or other items, let the grease cool down.
  • Once it has cooled, pour the used grease into the container and drop it back off at the center.
  • And, pick up another container for the next time you need one. It’s that easy.

Remember, this program is available not only for Thanksgiving, but year round.

IMG 3343 Frying a turkey this Thanksgiving? Jefferson County wants to recycle your cooking oil and grease
Photo courtesy of Jefferson County

Guidelines for household cooking oil and grease recycling include:

    • Edible oil products ONLY (cooking oil or grease, no motor oil)
    • Allow oil to cool before pouring into container
    • Pick up one of our free containers (available at each location) or use your own with a sealed lid; NO GLASS!
    • No fuel or motor oil will be accepted
    • Any questions about the recycling program, call 205-238-3876

Prevent FOG – Recycle it! Here’s why.

Fat, Oil and Grease (FOG) – the  items left over from cooking at home and in restaurants can cause serious blockages in drainage systems.

According to Jefferson County, about 75% of all sewage blockages are caused by FOG. This cost local residents hundreds of thousands of dollars each year in repairs. The county  maintains and operates more than 3,000 miles of sanitary sewer lines which serve approximately 480,000 users.

Recycling household cooking oil can save everyone time and money.

Pat Byington
Pat Byington

Longtime conservationist. Former Executive Director at the Alabama Environmental Council and Wild South. Publisher of the Bama Environmental News for more than 18 years. Career highlights include playing an active role in the creation of Alabama's Forever Wild program, Little River Canyon National Preserve, Dugger Mountain Wilderness, preservation of special places throughout the East through the Wilderness Society and the strengthening (making more stringent) the state of Alabama's cancer risk and mercury standards.

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