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This is the time of year when left over grease and oil is most likely to build up in the county sewer system and cause back-ups.

The reason being because people are cooking rich holiday meals, and dumping leftover grease down the drain, said Laura Hagen Fairbank, community relations manager with the Pima County Regional Wastewater Reclamation Department.

"If enough grease collects in the public sanitary sewers, you can have a back-up. And that back-up can come out of manholes, and streets, parks, the environment and also come out of your private plumbing," Hagen Fairbanks said.

Not only can the results be messy, they can also be very costly.

To encourage people to recycle, rather than dump their used grease and oil down the drain, the wastewater department is one of several groups sponsoring the 9th annual Day-After-Thanksgiving Grease Collection event.

Most people think of the day after Thanksgiving as Black Friday, a reference to the busiest shopping day of the year. Fairbanks and others have taken to calling it Green Friday, since people take advantage of the day to drop off between 300 and 500 gallons of used oil every year.

Grease Turned into Fuel

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All of that oil is converted into biodiesel. Several local companies will be at the various collection locations around town and recycle it into fuel.

Mike Kazz, the President of one such company, Grecycle, called the reuse of these greasy leftovers a "recycling trifecta."

"We are saving the sewers, which is our water resource," he said. "We are also saving our landfill space, we are not putting grease in the landfills if possible. And then we are cleaning the air by converting the oil into biodiesel."

On Green Friday, people can drop off their used cooking grease and oil at several locations around town:

East:
O’Reilly Chevrolet 6160 E. Broadway Blvd.

Midtown:
City Council Ward 3 Office 1510 E. Grant Rd.

Northwest:
Pima Vocational High School 5025 W. Ina Rd.

South:
City of Tucson Water Plant #2 1102 W. Irvington Rd.

Sahuarita:
Sahuarita Town Hall 375 W. Sahuarita Center Way

It is also possible to recycle these not-so-pleasant leftovers year round, at three Tucson locations:

Originate Natural Building Materials
526 N. 9th Ave.

EDG Fuels
8939 S. Eisenhower Rd.

Mary’s Market
1555 S. 10th Ave.