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City Corner column: Where can grease, oil be recycled?

Feb. 19, 2012 at 10:02 p.m.
Updated Feb. 18, 2012 at 8:19 p.m.


By Jennifer Sourdellia

For the past couple of years, I have been recycling all my used grease and cooking oil. I would take bottles and jars to the Huvar Recycling Center. Since the curbside recycling program has started and the recycling center is now closed, I have been told there is no longer an option to recycle used grease or oil. So my question is, what do I do with it now? Can it be picked-up by the Household Hazardous Waste program? I would really like to continue to recycle.

The city appreciates your commitment to recycling and keeping our environment clean. Although the city has a Household Hazardous Waste Pick-Up service, cooking oil and grease are not accepted.

The Victoria County Landfill does not accept it either. We do not advise you to throw your grease and oil in the trash.

There is a solution in the works. The oil and grease container that was previously available at the Huvar Recycling Center will be moved to a new recycling collection and transfer station located at 609 George St. that is open to city residents from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. every Saturday. To use the facility, you must show proof of identification or residency (a water bill or a copy of a water bill is ideal.) The grease container will not be available at the new center for at least a couple of weeks, though. In the meantime, try to hold on to your cooking grease and oil until then.

Could you explain to me why the city of Victoria opens the water hydrants and allows water to run for long periods of time? There are towns in Texas that have no water. The waste of water seems so uncalled for.

The city of Victoria strongly believes in water conservation, especially during drought conditions, and would not intentionally waste this precious resource. However, there are times when the city is required to flush fire hydrants.

The city is mandated by the Texas Commission of Environmental Quality to closely monitor the quality of our drinking water to ensure a proper disinfection level, and to protect it from waterborne disease. If the water tests below the required level for disinfectant, hydrants have to be flushed - this creates the influx of water that you might occasionally see pouring out into the street.

In addition, when there is a water break, sometimes air enters the water line when it is being repaired. Removing air from the water line requires flushing out the hydrant with water.

Finally, flushing helps remove "stale" water. Much of the water distribution system is designed with loops that keep water constantly flowing. However, some areas have dead-ends where water moves slowly and sits for longer periods of time. TCEQ requires the city to flush 206 dead-end mains on a monthly basis to ensure the presence of fresh water with sufficient disinfectant levels and an acceptable taste and smell. The city allows the water to run until the state's required chloramines residual level is achieved.

For more information, please contact the city's Public Works Department at 361-485-3380.

Do you have a question about the city of Victoria? Please submit your questions and comments about any city department to Jennifer Sourdellia in the Communications/Public Information Office by emailing jsourdellia@victoriatx.org or mail to P.O. Box 1758, Victoria, TX 77902.

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