HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) - Many people are enjoying leftovers tonight, but that turkey dinner also leaves you with leftover cooking oil. There are local areas to dispose of the excess oil properly.
Experts say it is dangerous to dump the used oil down the drain or to throw it outside. It can harm the environment and damage your septic tank by contaminating the soil and affecting the sewage system.
"When you pour oil down a kitchen drain, a sink's drain, a lot of them go right into the septic tanks," agrees Bobby Bland, a Conway resident. He adds, "that totally screws everything up, in the septic tank, the fill lines, and it gets very expensive."
Bobby Bland brings his used cooking oil to the Solid Waste Authority landfill in Conway.
"I use a lot of oil sometimes for turkeys and all. I make sure to pour it right back into the gallon jug that you used, bring them right out here, pour it in the receptacle and it's done with," says Bland.
The Solid Waste Authority has containers at each drop off location that county residents can use to dispose their cooking oil in.
"You don't have a mess, it's the best thing you can do. Get rid of it like you should," says Bland.
Local restaurants also take steps to dispose of the leftover oil.
"After we use it, we dump our oil back here, at the end of every day," says Bobbi Hardin, a cook at Rotelli's Pizza and Pasta.
Restaurants have a container right outside of their business that holds the leftover cooking oil. Usually, an outside company comes to pick up the waste to recycle it.
While you might not have the amount of leftover oil that your local restaurant does, local waste management suggests taking their lead and disposing it properly.
The Solid Waste Authority says you can bring the oil in whatever container you have.
"I just use the jug that it came in. Once I cook with it, I fill the jug back up and bring it to the recycling center," says Bland.
They prefer the oil as clean as possible, which you can do by straining it first.