Killeen residents now can recycle used cooking oil at the Killeen Recycling Center, thanks to an agreement with Central Texas College students.
The agreement, approved by the Killeen City Council on Tuesday, enabled a group of CTC students to establish used cooking oil depositories across the city and to educate Killeen residents about the hazards of dumping the waste into city sewers.
“Operation Liquid Gold” was initiated in December by Artia Perry, a 28-year-old business student in CTC’s Enactus business program for young entrepreneurs.
Perry was overcome with pride Tuesday to see her project reach fruition.
“It was very hard work to get the city to even consider looking at our plans,” Perry said. “It is awesome to know that now people can start recycling their used cooking oil.”
The program is one development in the city’s effort to combat a growing problem of fats, oils and grease, or FOG, accumulating in the city’s sewer systems.
Killeen passed a law regulating FOG in March 2010, after grease balls in the city’s sewer system caused $900,000 of damage to the city’s wastewater infrastructure. The law only regulates restaurants.
“It’s great to see the students at CTC take the initiative,” Councilman Terry Clark said after Tuesday’s meeting.
The program will not cost the city any money and may generate funds through the used cooking oil collected at the Killeen Recycling Center.
Michael Leatherman, an Enactus student, said the students plan to maintain additional recycling bins at three area apartment complexes and one Killeen restaurant.
For the past 17 years the Killeen Recycling Center has accepted used motor oil, other automotive fluids and oil filters.
Clark said many large commercial businesses already sell their used cooking and automobile oil for a dividend, but the Enactus program will expand that trend to individual residents.
According to the agreement, the city will sell the recycled cooking oil to Jarrel-based Centex Grease Recovery for between 10 and 25 cents a gallon.
“A homeowner is not going to recycle their oil to sell because the volume is not enough, but the (Enactus) program will enable them now to participate in that,” Clark said.
The Killeen Recycling Center is located at 111 E. Avenue F.