Parsippany residents wondering what to do with used cooking oil now have an alternative to pouring it down the sink drain.
The recycling center at Pumphouse Road now has a 200-gallon container for the purpose of collecting residents' used kitchen oils, according to Gregory Pavlic, a code enforcement officer with the township's Recycling and Sanitation Department.
"People are always asking what they can do with their old cooking oil," Pavlic said. "Until now, the town didn't have a way to handle that, and there is a big demand for this."
But then Pavlic noticed that Darling International Inc., a Newark firm that according to its website specializes in rendering, recycling and recovery solutions to the nation's food industry, had receptacles outside of restaurants all over the township, and even outside of school kitchens.
"They're no stranger to Parsippany," he said.
Darling buys the oil and then sells it to processing companies that produce biodiesel fuel, Pavlic said.
"That gave me an idea," he continued. "I called up Darling International and asked if we could get a receptacle at the recycling yard and they said yes."
Pavlic said this can help much more than the environment—it can also generate revenue for the township.
He said that used cooking oil is becoming quite valuable because of its use in making biodiesel fuel for the military and for the trucking industry.
"We're on a rebate program," he explained. "The price of cooking oil fluctuates with the value of petroleum-based gasoline. If the price of gas goes up, the value of cooking oil goes up.
"Right now the price is around a dollar a gallon, and the price of gas is on the way back up," Pavlic said.
"That makes it important for people to recycle their cooking oil."
The recycling center is open to Parsippany residents Monday through Friday from 9 a.m.-2:15 p.m. and Saturday from 8-11:45 a.m.