Research

Recycle your cooking oil at the Gobble Grease Toss

photo of boy with container of grease
Photo courtesy of Lexington-Fayette Urban County Government's Department of Environmental Quality and Public Works.

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Nov. 22, 2022) — This holiday season, University of Kentucky researchers want to recycle your used cooking oil.

It’s part of the annual Gobble Grease Toss held on Black Friday. If you’re frying a turkey this Thanksgiving you can drop off your used cooking oil for free at Redwood Cooperative School, located at 166 Crestwood Drive in Lexington. The event runs from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Friday, Nov. 25.

The 13th annual Gobble Grease Toss will allow Lexington residents to divert hundreds of gallons of cooking oil that would otherwise end up in the trash. Cooking oil should never be poured down sink drains, as it can clog pipes in both your home and the city’s sewer system.

Cooking oil that is collected will be used for biofuel research through a community partnership with the University of Kentucky Center for Applied Energy Research (CAER), Kelley Green Biofuel, Redwood Cooperative School and the City of Lexington.

“For many years, UK CAER has investigated the conversion of fats, oils and greases to renewable diesel with the support of the National Science Foundation and UK Sustainability. Recently, this work has been extended to the production of Sustainable Aviation Fuel with the support of OUR&D. The Gobble Grease Toss connects our research to the community by giving us access to used oil from people’s homes. The partnership with Kelley Green Biofuel ensures that the entirety of the oil collected is converted to fuel since CAER’s processing capacity is limited,” said Eduardo Santillan-Jimenez, program manager with CAER and adjunct assistant professor in the UK Department of Chemistry.

The students and families at Redwood Cooperative School are looking forward to co-hosting the Gobble Grease Toss on their campus for the seventh time.

“Environmental literacy is a core value at Redwood, and this event provides another way for our students to learn about clean energy and environmental sustainability,” said Sarah Cummins, head of Redwood. “They are learning that our daily choices have an impact on the environment and their future.  Our Student Leadership Team will be on hand to help with this event and encourage everyone in the Lexington community to be responsible about waste this holiday season.”

The Gobble Grease Toss is free for all Fayette County residents (no businesses, please). You can bring cooking and vegetable oil only (no food or motor oil) in a disposable, hard-sided container with a lid to prevent spills. Do not bring cooking oil in a bag.

Please have your container in your trunk. Remain in your car and a volunteer will remove the oil for you.

If you cannot make it to the Gobble Grease Toss, you can properly dispose of cooking oil by hardening it in the refrigerator and placing it in your green trash cart.

For more information on the Gobble Grease Toss, call LexCall at 3-1-1 or 859-425-2255 or visit www.LexingtonKY.gov/GobbleGreaseToss.

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