Case Studies

Program Examples

A public used cooking cooking oil collection program is easy to operate and can produce revenue for communities. Used cooking oil (UCO) collection companies, including the growing number of in-state biodiesel producers, typically will provide containers and service at no cost, in addition to paying communities for the collected oil. UCO collection companies/vendors can be identified through the recycling marketing directory (RMD).

Wilson County

Wilson County collects residentially generated used cooking oil at all of its 13 recycling convenience centers. Their UCO collection program has been in place since November 2011. The county uses attractive 125-gallon capacity plastic collection containers placed at each site by Mahoney Environmental.

Solid Waste Director Andy Davis advises other local governments that are interested in collecting UCO to aggressively promote their collection program. He comments, "The one thing we didn’t do was to advertise enough. My suggestion is to advertise as much as possible.”

According to Davis, the volume varies from site to site with the greatest volume being collected at the landfill collection center. To learn more about Wilson County’s UCO collection program, contact Andy Davis at 252-399-2823 or

Gaston County

Gaston County takes a unique approach to recycling used cooking oil, collecting it at each of their five convenience centers once a month. The convenience centers have a 55-gallon drum at each site in which they collect oil from citizens. The oil is taken to a school facility where the oil is blended with used vegetable oil from other establishments to make biodiesel for use in the county’s school busses. Their process yields almost a gallon of biodiesel for each gallon of cooking oil collected. Production is approximately 2,000 gallons per week. Nan Kirlin, Gaston County’s Recycling Coordinator can provide more information about the program. She can be reached at or 704-922-7729.

Town of Cary

After having run a successful residential waste cooking oil pilot program for eleven weeks in 2008, the Town of Cary began its program in earnest on July 1, 2009. The town collects used vegetable oil and animal fats in its curbside program. The collections are scheduled at curbside when citizens call the town with a request for pick-up. During 2011, the town collected 1,500 gallons of oil.

Bob Holden, Cary’s Solid Waste Division Manager, oversees the town’s cooking oil collection. According to Holden, the oil is taken to a central collection area where it is picked up by Triangle Biofuels for use in their biodiesel manufacturing process.

Holden advises that in order to develop and maintain a successful program, local governments should have a solid waste manager who is very dedicated to the project.

For further information about the Town of Cary's used cooking oil collection program (, contact either Bob Holden at 919-469-4388 or, or Donald Smith, the town’s Utility Pretreatment Manager, at 919-319-4564 or