Columbia, SC (WLTX) - Frying that turkey for Thanksgiving? What do you plan to do with all that oil?
"Enjoy the turkey and whether you fry it or bake it and enjoy your Thanksgiving," said Mary Pat Baldauf with the City of Columbia Sustainability Department.
In the last few years many people have turned to frying their Thanksgiving turkey. It can end up being a greasy mess.
"You got three to five gallons of grease and no one knows what to do with it," said Baldauf.
Some end up dumping it in their kitchen sink, but that type of disposal can lead to major problems.
"Because grease is so hot originally and when it hits the colder water that is in our sewer lines, it almost instantly solidifies," says Stephen Sealey with the City of Columbia Waster Water Compliance.
When there is a clogged drain in your neighborhood, the City of Columbia sends waste water technicians to your home and uses a remote controlled robot camera to find the problem. Often times its done by people improperly dumping grease.
"Roots, pipes, any other obstruction in the lines it will find and bind to. When it binds to it, it will completely clog our sewer lines thus causing our overflows in our system," said Sealey.
Sealey says when drains are clogged that means more expenses for taxpayers.
"Throw it away, because if you put it down the drain we will have issues, the less issues we have the less maintenance the city has to endure for repairing and cleaning these things up," said Sealey.
You have two options; let the grease harden and put it in the trash or take it to recycle locations. This keeps the pipes clean, but that's not all.
"A local company comes and picks up the cooking oil and turns it into biofuel and it's a certified SC product," said Baldauf.
The city even purchases some of the fuel to use in their fleet. Baldauf says it's worth the extra drive to recycle and help the environment.
"So for a very short trip you could do a lot of great things for both the city, the economy and the environment," said Baldauf.