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  • Another Strong Showing for RWRD’s Annual Grease Collection

    When the Pima County Regional Wastewater Reclamation Department (RWRD) held its first countywide grease collection event in 2005, the event brought in a grand total of 1,100 pounds of grease. Over the years, as awareness of the annual effort has grown, the results of each year’s event have gradually increased. 

    This year’s event, held on Jan. 8, resulted in the collection of 8,287 pounds of cooking oil and grease. Instead of going to waste, that grease will be recycled into clean-burning biodiesel fuel by Grecycle, RWRD’s long-time partner. 

    The annual event is designed to provide the public with an easy way to recycle their leftover cooking grease after the holidays. It also works to highlight the importance of saving and reusing grease, rather than disposing of it in drains, which can lead to clogged pipes, sewer backups, and other problems in the sanitary sewer system. 

    Cases of COVID-19 surged in January, which may have discouraged some people from dropping off their grease in person. Despite this, turnout remained remarkably high for the event, which took place at seven stations around Pima County. 

    Grease collection locations were set up at O’Rielly Chevrolet, Kino Sports Complex, Sahuarita Town Hall Complex, and Pima Community College’s West, Northwest, and Desert Vista campuses. In addition, the county’s year-round collection site at Agua Nueva Water Reclamation Facility, located at 2947 W. Calle Agua Nueva, remained open. 

    Since the grease collection effort began 17 years ago, RWRD has collected a total of 82,989 pounds of grease from the public for recycling. It’s an achievement to be proud of, and underlines the department’s commitment to promoting a safe sewer system and a renewable future.