ALACHUA COUNTY, FL - The Alachua County Environmental Protection Department (ACEPD) is expanding the free drop-off and recycling of waste vegetable oil (WVO) at the Hazardous Waste Collection Center (HWCC), located in the Leveda Brown Environmental Park and Transfer Station at 5125 NE 63rdAvenue, in Gainesville. WVO can also be dropped off at the five Solid Waste Collection Centers located throughout the County.
With resource assistance from a $58,383 USEPA Region 4 Environmental Policy and Innovation Grant, ACEPD intends to increase collection of WVO from County residents and commercial businesses in order to increase the volume of biodiesel fuel produced at the Alachua County Hazardous Waste Collection Center. The biodiesel fuel is used in County solid waste fleet operations at the Transfer Station and in diesel-powered equipment at the HWCC. The purpose is to offset the use of petroleum diesel fuel, reduce the County's carbon footprint, and improve the sustainability of Alachua County operations.
An educational campaign is underway to inform County residents of the importance of properly managing waste vegetable oil as well as other fats, oils and greases that are byproducts of frying foods. The increased WVO collection and educational campaign in partnership with Gainesville Regional Utilities will reduce improper disposal of fats, oils, and greases down sinks or drains, reduce the potential for sewer line backups, reduce environmental pollution from sanitary sewer overflows and leaks, and promote the recycling of waste into a usable commodity. Additional activities include increased outreach to restaurants, special community events, and the establishment of more convenient drop-off locations at the Rural Collection Centers.
"The program will continue to enhance the reputation of the Alachua County Hazardous Waste Collection Center as a statewide leader for sustainability and innovation in the reuse and recycling of hazardous and household waste," HHWC Coordinator Kurt Seaburg said, "This effort builds on the recent solar power initiative and other recent innovative services. Plans include utilizing the biodiesel to operate a diesel generator provide a supplemental energy capability as well as emergency power generation at the Hazardous Waste Collection Center."
For more information on this free service to homeowners and businesses, contact 352-330-0440 or visit www.alachuacountyhazwaste.us.