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Ironhouse Sanitary District (ISD) is once again adding a little twist to its annual holiday grease recycling day, which takes place Saturday, Dec. 3. Instead of just dropping off the leftover cooking grease from turkey dinner, take a few minutes and collect your used CFL and other used light bulbs and ISD will properly dispose of them for you. Plus as an added bonus those who drop off a bulb will receive a discount coupon for a new bulb that they can use at ACE Hardware in Oakley.
Last year’s event was a success in helping people who had been saving up the bulbs either not knowing what to do with them or holding until the next trip to a hazardous waste facility.
CFL or compact fluorescent light bulbs are those twisty, screw-shaped light bulbs that fit into a standard light socket, are generally long lasting and save energy but also contain hazardous mercury, making them difficult to get rid of when they need to be replaced.
Because CFL bulbs contain an average of five milligrams of mercury sealed within the glass tubing these bulbs can not simply be thrown in the trash, like paint, batteries, thermostats and other hazardous household items, CFL bulbs should be disposed of through Delta Household Hazardous Waste in Pittsburg.
ISD is helping Oakley and Bethel Island residents save the trip to the collection facility and letting them drop off these bulbs for just this one day at ISD’s Fats, Oils and Grease Recycling Day. This will not be a regular event. In exchange for dropping off bulbs, residents will receive a discount coupon from ACE Hardware in Oakley for LED bulbs.
“This is just our way of reminding people that there is a proper way to dispose of these mercury bulbs,” said ISD General Manager Chad Davisson. “These bulb should never be thrown in the trash. When not disposed of properly they can break and be very harmful to the environment.”
For the past six years ISD has been offering a fats, oils and grease (FOG) drop-off event. Generally FOG is made up of many types of household grease that is used for cooking. This would include turkey fryer oil, turkey pan grease, etc., as well as what is usually left in the pan after cooking chicken, steak, ground beef and the like.
Residents are asked to collect their used cooking oil, as well as everyday cooking grease, in sealed containers and turn it in at the event. Discarding fats, oils and grease down the kitchen sink creates blockages of municipal sewer lines and homeowner pipes, which lead to sewage spills and raw sewage backing up into homes.
Blockages tend to increase during the holiday season when fried turkeys, hams and other traditional foods are prepared. Fats, oil and grease are the by-products from frying and cooking using vegetable oil, butter, margarine, lard and shortening.
ISD collects the grease throughout the holiday season, and year round, in their FOG House which is located at 450 Walnut Meadows Drive, (off Main Street) in Oakley. ISD sends all of the FOG recycling they receive year round to a facility that recycles household grease into bio-diesel.
The annual FOG Recycling and Mercury CFL Light Bulb Event Saturday Drop-off will take place Dec. 3, 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.