If your holiday plans include deep-frying a turkey – or anything else delicious – Hillsborough County has just the place to take cooking oil that is past its useful life.
The Public Utilities Department has launched the Cooking Oil Recycling Effort (C.O.R.E.). It is a new program that offers residents a convenient way to recycle their used cooking oil. Free cooking oil jugs are available from five cabinets located in selected areas. Used, cooled cooking oil can be stored in the jugs or other sturdy, spill-proof, nonbreakable containers, capped securely, and taken to one of the cabinets.
Look for the brightly colored C.O.R.E. cabinets at:
- Hillsborough County Public Utilities Department, Northwest Customer Service Center, 15610 Premiere Dr., Tampa
- Northlakes Recreation Center, 2640 Lakeview Dr., Tampa
- Woodlake Park, 9207 Woodlake Blvd., Tampa
- Town ‘N Country Pump Station, 5505 Town ‘N Country Blvd., Tampa
- Hillsborough County Public Utilities Department, Brandon Support and Operations Complex, 332 N. Falkenburg Rd., Tampa
Used cooking oils are a serious problem for home plumbing and Hillsborough County's wastewater collection system. Cooking oil that’s poured down the drain gels and solidifies into thick layers inside drainpipes, sewage pipelines and sewage lift stations, constricting water flow. Running hot water down the sink doesn’t help because the water eventually cools down.
The result not only can back up home plumbing, but also can cause lift station pumps and other equipment to malfunction. That can create sewage spills, overflows onto streets and foul odors in homes and neighborhoods. It’s messy, smelly and costly to clean up.
The C.O.R.E. project is a pilot program for Hillsborough County. Although new for this area, the program has worked successfully at locations across the country.
C.O.R.E. is for residential cooking oil. Commercial and industrial customers must contact a licensed commercial grease hauler for cooking oil disposal options.
Also, all three of the county’s Household Chemicals and Electronics Collections centers accept used and leftover cooking oil during their designated monthly collection times. There is no charge.
The Household Chemicals and Electronics Collections facilities are located at:
- Northwest, first Saturday of the month, 8 a.m. – 2 p.m., 9805 N. Sheldon Rd., Tampa
- South County, second Saturday of the month, 8 a.m. – 2 p.m., 13000 U.S. 41, Gibsonton (use Powell Road entrance, off U.S. 41, a quarter-mile north of Big Bend Road)
- East County, third Saturday of the month, 8 a.m. – 2 p.m., 6209 County Road 579, Seffner (a quarter-mile north of Interstate 4, exit 10)
For more information, visit www.hillsboroughcounty.org/core.