Recycling programs upcoming

Catawba County will begin accepting used cooking oils at its Blackburn Solidwaste Convenience Center next month to prevent unwanted issues in the county’s sewer systems.

Beginning Feb. 1, the county will accept the oils for proper recycling at its Blackburn Convenience Center at 3864 Rocky Ford Road in Newton. The program is free and open to county residents.

“Used cooking oil is one of the major causes of costly sewer system maintenance,” said Amanda Kain, Catawba County’s waste reduction coordinator. “They are a potential threat to the environment and are unnecessary costs from the budgets of local public works departments. Sewer overflows due to clogs from used cooking oil can also threaten the water system.”

She said Catawba County’s Cooking Oil Recycling Program targets used cooking oil, fat and grease before they become issues in the sewer systems.

When cooking oil is poured down the drain, it solidifies into thick layers inside drainpipes, constricting water flow, similar to the blood flow in arteries. Over time, clogged sewers result in unsanitary conditions, including overflows in the street, foul-smelling odors and irreversible damage to sewer pipes.

The county encourages citizens to dry wiping pots and pans before they’re washed because that can reduce how much oil and grease collects in a home’s sewer collection system.

“A special container is reserved at the Blackburn Convenience Center just for used cooking oil,” Kain said. “We ask citizens to pour their used cooking oil in the specially marked container and then dispose of their empty container onsite or take it with them.” 

If you have questions about the new cooking oil recycling program or other Catawba County recycling programs, call the County Waste Reduction Office at 828-465-8217 or the Blackburn Landfill at 704-462-1348. 

Electronics recycling
The county will also offer citizens a one-time chance to dispose of unwanted electronics properly next month at the Blackburn Landfill off Rocky Ford Road.

Catawba County will offer citizens a free opportunity to properly dispose of computers, televisions and other electronic devices on Feb. 4 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Blackburn Landfill, off N.C. 10 West in Newton. 

It will be the third of four collection days offered this fiscal year, following a ban of computer equipment and televisions from disposal in North Carolina landfills that took effect July 1.

If weather prevents the collection on Feb. 4, it will be rescheduled for Feb. 11, according to information from the county.

Materials that will be accepted include, but are not limited to, TVs, computers, laptops, keyboards, mice, cables, printers, VCRs, DVD players, scanners, stereos, cell phones, telephones, copiers, pagers, calculators, fax machines, projection equipment, headphones, speakers, cameras, palm pilots, GPS units, iPods, MP3 players, power supplies and movie and video equipment.

Paint will also be accepted at the Feb. 4 collection.