Grease recycling plan in works in Kennewick

By Kristi Pihl, Tri-City HeraldAugust 28, 2013 

Kennewick hopes to have a program set up so city residents can recycle household cooking oil and grease and help low-income residents at the same time.

The program, created in partnership with Waste Management and Baker Commodities, will allow Kennewick residents to drop off grease at the Waste Management transfer site at 27th Avenue and Ely Street, Kennewick city council was told Tuesday.

Baker Commodities will recycle the grease, which is a commodity, said Chris Espinoza, Kennewick's wastewater services supervisor. The revenue the city will receive from the effort will go to the Kennewick Kares program, which helps low-income residents pay water and sewer bills.

The program also will help protect the city's wastewater infrastructure, Espinoza said.

The city already has an education effort underway with local businesses to reduce the fats, oils and grease that make their way into the city's sewer system. The gunk can block sewer lines and clog manholes, city officials have said.

Espinoza said the city hopes to eventually be able to offer curbside pick-up for grease, like with other recyclables.

An agreement creating the program should come before the council Sept. 17.

Also Tuesday:

w A requested comprehensive plan amendment is being postponed until more land can be acquired for a new Kennewick fire station, said Anthony Muai, Kennewick city planner.

Kennewick bought a one-story home and an acre at 5500 W. 10th Ave. in hopes it could become the city's fifth fire station and allow the city to improve travel time to fires and medical emergencies in southwest Kennewick.

More land would be needed before a fire station could be built, Muai said.

City officials have said they could station a medic team at the home in the meantime to improve medical responses, which represent at least 75 percent of the calls the fire department receives.

-- Kristi Pihl: 582-1512; kpihl@tricityherald.com

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