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Recycled Used Cooking Oil for City of Tallahassee's Alternative Fuel Program

The City of Tallahassee now collects used cooking oil at several locations to reuse for its Alternative Fuel Program. The used cooking oil is then cleaned and processed to produce clean-burning biodiesel and the empty plastic containers are recycled.

Biofuel Collection Center

How to participate as an individual:

  1. After using your cooking oil for your food preparation, simply pour the cooled cooking oil back into the plastic container from which it came from or some other plastic container.
  2. Bring the plastic container filled with the used cooking oil to any of the collection sites listed.
  3. Simply pour the oil into the tank if you intend to reuse your container or set the container on the rack.

To participate as an organization, please fill out our application form below.

Types of oil accepted - Any liquid cooking oil used in the preparation of food (vegetable oil, canola oil, olive oil, etc.)

What oils are NOT accepted - Any oil or lubricant used in automobiles or machines (Motor oil, transmission fluid, power steering fluid)

Please Note: Used cooking oil collection centers are established for the collection of used cooking oil only. Used motor vehicle oil is not included as it contaminates the collection tanks and contents.

Biofuel Collection Sites

  • Fleet Management Department - 400 Dupree Street
  • Solid Waste Services - 2727 Municipal Way
  • Fort Braden Rural Waste Service Center - 2485 East Joe Thomas Road
  • Woodville Rural Waste Service Center - 549 Henry Jones Road
  • Miccosukee Rural Waste Service Center - 13051 Miccosukee Road

For nearly a decade, Fleet Management has been working on pollution prevention and waste reduction in its shop. Currently, it is continuing conservation efforts by turning to biodiesel fuel.

Frequently Asked Biodiesel Questions

An aerial view of a number of city fleet vehicles that can use biofuels.

What is biodiesel?
Biodiesel is an alternative fuel for diesel engines that is receiving great attention worldwide. Although it attracts the most attention because it is renewable, it is also known for reduced exhaust pollutants. It is also attractive because it can be produced relatively easily from common feedstocks such as poultry (chicken) fat and virgin or restaurant waste vegetable oil.

Biodiesel is defined as the mono-alkyl esters of fatty acids derived from vegetable oils or animal fats. In simple terms, biodiesel is the product obtained when a vegetable oil or animal fat is chemically reacted with an alcohol to produce fatty acid alkyl esters (biodiesel). Potassium or sodium hydroxide (lye) is also used in the process as a catalyst. Glycerin is produced as a co-product and can be converted to usable soap.

How did we get interested in it and what have we done thus far?
The City originally became interested in biodiesel shortly after fuel prices rose dramatically as a result of the Hurricane Katrina disaster. The staff at Fleet Management initiated a research project to example the environmental and monetary impact of Biodiesel. By the end of 2006, the City constructed a small scale biodiesel production facility. Biodiesel production has increased steadily and presently the City has the capacity to produce about 250/300-gallons of bio-diesel per day.

How many vehicles are we running on it now and what are the plans for the future?
Fleet Management has chosen select vehicles for the pilot program with controls for tracking those vehicles. Fleet Management has experimented with biodiesel, blended at various concentrations with standard ultra-low sulfur diesel fuel. Fleet Management has also experimented with operating vehicles with 100% biodiesel. The City's goal is to produce an amount of Biodiesel equal to about 40% of the 800,000 gallons of diesel used annually.

Why is biodiesel good for the environment?
Because the primary feedstock for biodiesel is a biologically-based oil or fat that can be grown season after season, biodiesel is renewable. And, since the carbon in the fuel was originally removed from the air by plants, there is no net increase in carbon dioxide levels. Therefore, biodiesel does not have the potential to make a major impact on total carbon dioxide production – a factor that has been linked to global warming. Biodiesel provides substantial reductions in carbon monoxide, unburned hydrocarbons, and particulate emissions from diesel engines. While the carbon monoxide and unburned hydrocarbons from diesels are already low compared with gasoline engines, biodiesel reduces them further. Particulate emissions, especially the black soot portion, are greatly reduced with biodiesel.

What modifications do we have to make to our fleet in order to use biodiesel?
No diesel engine modifications are necessary in order to operate with biodiesel. The City recently moved to operating diesel vehicles with ultra-low sulfur diesel fuel – as mandated by the federal government. Ultra-low sulfur diesel has a lower "lubricity" value than standard low sulfur diesel fuel. By mixing biodiesel with ultra-low sulfur diesel, the lubricity rating is increased and engines actually run better.

Where do we get the grease?
The City currently produces biodiesel from poultry (chicken) fat and waste restaurant oil that is purchased from brokers. However, the City is working to partner with the United Way and local restaurants to obtain waste cooking grease and collection sites will be established so that residents can contribute.

Will this also save the city money?
There are many variables that control the cost of bio-diesel. It appears with the cost as they are now that the City will be able to produce bio-diesel more economically than it can be purchased and have better control over the quality of the product. Environmentally, it will be a home run for the community with the disposal of waste cooking grease. It is a great win-win solution!

Biofuel Restaurant and Organization Partnerships

The City of Tallahassee appreciates and values it's partnerships with the local restaurants, businesses, schools and government organizations listed below to provide waste liquid cooking oil to be converted into biodiesel. We are pleased to be a part of the community effort to protect our environment.

To join this program as a restaurant or organization, please fill out the form:

Biodiesel Partnership Form
Partner Name*

First Name*

Last Name*

Contact Phone Number*

First Choice Call Time*

First Choice Call Day*

Second Choice Call Time*

Second Choice Call Day*

Email Address*

Street Address*

Street Address (adtl)


Zip Code*

Alternate Address Description


Estimated Gallons of Waste Oil*

Type of Container*

Do you currently have collection service?*


Current Partners

Business/Organization Address
Black Fig 1400 Village Square Blvd
City of Tallahassee/ Solid Waste Services 2727 Municipal Way
City of Tallahassee/James Messer Park 1158-1172 Dupree St 
FAMU (3 drop off sites) Famu Way
FDLE  2331 Phillips Road
(pick up on Miccosukee Rd)
Fleet Management  400 Dupree St
Goodwood Museums & Gardens 1600 Miccosukee Rd
Grand Village Mobile Home Park 307 Marcus Ct.
Leon County - Miccosukee Rural Waste
Service Center
13051 Miccosukee Road
Leon County/Fort Braden Rural Waste
Service Center
2485 East Joe Thomas Road
Leon County/Woodville Rural Waste
Service Center
549 Henry Jones Road
Miracle Hill Nursing & Rehab Center 1329 Abraham St.
Mission West Apt. 2651 Vista Rise
North Florida Fair 441 Paul Russell Rd
926 Bar & Grill 929 W Tharpe St
Prep Pros 2401 W Pensacola St
REAL Sarap 435 W Tennessee St
Smokin Lo's 926 West Tharpe St
TFD Fire Station No. 1 327 N. Adams St.
TFD Fire Station No. 2 2805 Sharer Rd.
TFD Fire Station No. 3 3005 S. Monroe St.
TFD Fire Station No. 4 2899 W. Pensacola St.
TFD Fire Station No. 15 1445 Bannerman Rd.
TFD Fire Station No. 16 913 Easterwood Dr.
The Point at Adams Place 3000 South Adams
The Village Condominiums 2241 W. Pensacola St
Version: 2834 (10/7/2016 12:25 PM) |