ST. CLOUD (WJON News) --  A new residential cooking oil recycling program is off to a strong start in St. Cloud.

Since the program began in early April residents have dropped off over 150 pounds of used cooking oil so far.

City Sustainability Coordinator Liz Kramer says that used oil is being turned into energy.

It goes to our New Recovery Facility where we treat the area's wastewater.  We remove it from the container, and we run it through the digestive process.  It goes through there with wastewater solids and other waste from local industries.

Kramer says they have the ability to create a gas that can produce clean energy. It is mixed with byproducts from large local industries like breweries and dairy operations.

She says what's left is also returned to the natural environment.

There's some liquid that comes off that and we run that back through the system to get treated and return clean water to the Mississippi River.  And, there's some solids that come out of that.  We utilize those in our biosolids program.  We use this as a solid amendment for farmland.

The other benefit of the program is that it keeps the used cooking oil out of landfills and city pipes.

Cooking oil recycling drop-off locations are City Hall, the Central Services Building, and the New Recovery Facility. The drop-off hours are Mondays through Fridays from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. You can also drop off at the St. Cloud Compost Site seasonally. Materials must be delivered in disposable containers with a lid.

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Kramer says right now they are also developing a similar program for food waste or scraps for residents and also at the industrial level.


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