Ever wonder what to do with oils, grease and fat leftover from cooking your favorite comfort foods? Ocean County residents have a new option. You can collect it and bring it to recycling centers in Lakewood or Manahawkin where officials have set up 300 gallon drums to take in discarded cooking oils and meat fats from residents.

Ocean County Household Hazardous Waste Collection (Ocean County Public Information)

Art Burns, Ocean County Superintendent of Recycling Operations, says the program was prompted by inquiries from citizens who wanted to dispose of grease properly. "Some people said that they're putting it in the sewerage, some people say they're putting it in the garbage. So, the county took it upon itself to site a program that would benefit the citizens and that would be legal in the disposal of the material."

However, the program will also be a revenue generator for the county. Burns says they've made arrangements to sell collected oils to MOPAC Rendering of Souderton, PA at a price that will vary based on market conditions. Freeholder Deputy Director James Lacey says "this company in turn will recycle the waste oils into bio-fuels and animal feed."

According to Burns, residents can bring anywhere from a jar to 5 gallons of material. He says acceptable oils include cooking pan grease left over from bacon, roasts, fish, chicken and so forth along with cooking oil from household deep fryers and turkey fryers but motor oil will not be accepted as part of this program.

Materials can be taken to the Northern Recycling Center at 601 New Hampshire Avenue in Lakewood or the Southern Center on at 379 Haywood Road in Manahawkin. For more information about the county's recycling program go to the Ocean County website at co.ocean.nj.us under the Department of Solid Waste.