Recycling center begins collecting used cooking oil

ST. MARYS – The Elk County Community Recycling Center recently added the collection of used cooking oil to the list of services it offers to area residents. Bekki Titchner, Elk County recycling/solid waste coordinator, explained that the material is being collected at the center's location in the Stackpole Complex in St. Marys during normal hours of operation. "It's nice to be able to add another service for residents," Titchner said. "We have had people over the months ask us where they can take used cooking oil or whether we take it, and I finally had gotten in touch with Steve Fledderman and he agreed to bring us a container."He made the container so we wouldn't have to worry about rodents and things like that. The top closes and there's a really nice mesh screen on it so it keeps the mice and whatever else out of it." Fledderman and his wife Rachel own and operate Green Energy Biofuels, which is located on West Creek Road. They collect used cooking oil so that it can be processed into biofuels. "We collect used grease all over the state," Fledderman said. "We recycle it and it gets turned into biodiesel. Probably 85 percent of our product goes to a biodiesel refinery in Erie." He explained that biodiesel is used as an additive to diesel fuel for vehicles such as trucks, farm equipment, and off-road and construction equipment. Titchner stressed that the most important thing for residents to know about the new used cooking oil collection is that the cooking oil has to be in liquid form."We can't take solid grease. We don't have the ability to do that, and he (Fledderman) doesn't have the ability to process that," Titchner said. Pick up a copy of the Saturday, April 21, 2012 edition of The Ridgway Record for more.