Jefferson County residents are privy to a pretty unique perk, in addition to all the wonderful benefits that the area has to offer. One Birmingham company that’s been serving Central Alabama for almost 115 years helps make it happen. Check it out!
Get Your Head Out of the FOG
When I was a kid, my mom had a Crisco can under the sink that she filled up with leftover grease after she was done cooking. I never really thought twice about it until I started cooking on my own and realized, “Huh. That probably shouldn’t go down the drain of my apartment’s kitchen sink.”
Turns out, not only was that instinct correct, it’s actually a pretty big issue. The items left from cooking at home have a nickname: FOG (Fat, Oil and Grease). According to Jefferson County, FOG causes about 75% of all sewage blockages. This costs Jefferson County hundreds of thousands of dollars each year in repairs.
Thanks to one local partnership, residents in Jefferson County can recycle those leftover materials for free. Here’s how.
Over a Century of Birmingham Business
At the dawn of the 20th century, Birmingham Hide & Tallow Company, Inc. first opened its doors on historic Morris Avenue in downtown Birmingham, Alabama as a small wholesaler of hides, furs and wool.
In the mid-1930s, the Vickers family purchased the business from the original proprietor, and a family tradition was born.
Oil Recycling in Jefferson County Today
So, what does all this mean for you? Well, because of Jefferson County’s partnership with BHT, JeffCo residents can recycle their household cooking oil for free—and it’s an important thing to do.
Here are a few rules to keep in mind:
- Edible oil products ONLY (cooking oil or grease)
- No fuel or motor oil will be accepted
- Allow oil to cool before pouring into container
- Pick up a free container (available at each location) or use your own with a sealed lid
- No glass containers allowed
If you’re looking to drop off other materials in addition to your cooking oils, don’t miss out on the 2020 collection days in Jefferson County. Get all the details below. ⬇️
How to Recycle Your Oil in 6 Easy Steps
- Find the recycling center closest to you. There are 22 throughout Jefferson County—you can find a map of locations here.
- Drop by a center and pick up a free plastic gallon jug for your grease—or just use one of your own.
- Finish cooking and allow the oil and grease to cool (seriously, don’t skip this step).
- Once it has cooled, pour the used grease into the container. Pro tip: you can order a funnel for less than $3 on Amazon to make the process easier.
- When the container gets as full as you want, just drop it back off at the center at any time.
- While you’re there, grab another container and start the process over. It’s as simple as that!
What Happens to the Recycled Oil?
Once the waste material is collected, BHT ReSources takes it to their rendering plant in Bessemer. There, the plant processes oil and grease to remove trash, fines, and other impurities before they undergo a quality control testing process.
The processed oils are sold as used cooking oil in addition to being blended with animal fat to generate yellow grease. In the same facility, BHT ReSources processes raw material into nutritious and safe protein meal that they sell to animal feed manufacturers across the Southeast.
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