Recycling depot takes kitchen fat

Now it's a closed loop, with sterilized fat being fed back to animals

It’s assumed you’re not pouring your used french fry oil and beef fat down the drain, where it can clog pipes and lead to costly repairs.

So after collecting all the old grease and oil, what do you do with it?

Take it down to the Ridge Meadows Recycling Society depot, off River Road, where it will be dumped into a big vat and shipped off to be filtered, sterilized and either mixed back in with feed rations, or used as an ingredient in biodiesel fuel.

Leanne Koehn, with the recycling society, said the program has just started and is another attempt at removing recyclable products from the waste stream and the garbage dump.

“Our fear is that it is always going into drains,” said Koehn.

She explained the program is for residents rather than restaurants, which already collect their grease and oil for processing by West Coast Reductions, which is also processing the grease collected from the recycling depot.

“We call ourselves the original recyclers. We started nearly 50 years ago,” said Tim Gale, with West Coast.

“We collect used cooking oil and are able to refine it and sell it back to local farmers who re-use its high calorific value. It’s a closed-loop system.”

Recycling society president Jon Harris said kitchen grease is the latest product that now can be recycled because a company now has a market for the product.

As of last fall, the society also now accepts styrofoam, for a $2 dropoff fee. There’s no charge to drop off the old kitchen fat, grease or oil, however.