Water-Related News

Deep-frying a turkey this Thanksgiving? Don't dump the cooking oil down the drain!

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Do Your Pipelines and Ours a Favor—Join the CORE for the Holidays and All Year Round

If your Thanksgiving and other holiday plans include deep-frying a turkey - or anything else delicious - Hillsborough County has just the place to take cooking oil that has past its useful life.

The Public Utilities Department's Cooking Oil Recycling Effort (CORE) offers residents a convenient way to recycle their used cooking oil. Free cooking oil jugs are available from cabinets located in select County collection areas. Used, cooled cooking oil can be stored in the jugs or other sturdy, spill-proof, non-breakable containers, capped securely, and taken to one of the brightly-colored CORE collection cabinets located at:

  • Hillsborough County Public Utilities Department
    Northwest Customer Service Center
    15610 Premiere Drive, Tampa 33624
  • Northlakes Recreation Center
    2640 Lakeview Drive, Tampa 33618
  • Woodlake Park
    9207 Woodlake Blvd., Tampa 33615
  • Town ‘N Country Pump Station
    5505 Town ‘N Country Blvd., Tampa 33615
  • Hillsborough County Public Utilities Department
    Brandon Support and Operations Complex
    332 N. Falkenburg Road, Tampa 33619

Used cooking oils are a serious problem for home plumbing and Hillsborough County's wastewater collection system. Cooking oil that is poured down the drain gels and solidifies into thick layers inside drainpipes, sewage pipelines and sewage lift stations, constricting water flow. Running hot water down the sink does not help because the water eventually cools down.

The result not only can back up home plumbing, but also can cause lift station pumps and other equipment to malfunction. Oil clogs and malfunctions can create sewage spills, overflows onto streets, and foul odors in homes and neighborhoods. It is messy, smelly and costly to clean up.

It is important to note commercial and industrial customers must contact a licensed commercial grease hauler for cooking oil disposal options; the CORE is for residential cooking oil disposal only.

The three County's Household Chemicals and Electronics Collections centers also accept used and leftover cooking oil, at no charge, during their designated monthly collection times. The Household Chemicals and Electronics Collections facilities are located at:

  • Northwest
    First Saturday of the month, 8 a.m. – 2 p.m.
    9805 N. Sheldon Road, Tampa 33635
  • South County
    Second Saturday of the month, 8 a.m. – 2 p.m.
    13000 U.S. Highway 41, Gibsonton 33534
    (use Powell Road entrance, off U.S. Highway 41, a quarter-mile north of Big Bend Road)
  • East County
    Third Saturday of the month, 8 a.m. – 2 p.m.
    6209 County Road 579, Seffner 33584
    (a quarter-mile north of Interstate 4, exit 10)