If you had not known already, back in March the City of Panama City started a cooking oil recycling program as a part of its Green Initiative.
Basically, the programs works like this: anyone can stop by one of 9 Green Recycling Stations, look for the hard-to-miss neon green shelves, pick up an empty container from the top shelf and fill it with your used “Plant Based Cooking Oil”. All you have to do then is just bring the container back with your used oil and place it on the bottom shelf. You may also bring your used oil in the original container. The oil is collected by the city, which is then converted into Bio-Diesel Fuel and used in city vehicles reducing the city’s expense for diesel fuel. Already, Panama City has produced hundreds of gallons of bio-diesel fuel. This program benefits everyone by providing an easy way to dispose of used oil while keeping cooking oil out of sewer systems. And the bio-diesel fuel is much better for the environment as it significantly reduces engine exhaust emissions.
After seeing this program in action, my immediate reaction was, “what is the beach doing to conserve energy and move in the green direction?”
As of today, Panama City Beach has but two recycling drop off sites for the entire city; one at Pete Edwards field and another on the West End on San Vincent Street, both of which are surprisingly secluded. Such was the case with Panama City, although they have more recycle stations, but local businesses helped out, allowing the city to use their space for pickup and drop offs.
With as many restaurants as there are on Panama City Beach, having a system like this could greatly benefit the city. In fact, as city budget talks continue, having a bio-diesel fuel program could reduce some expenses at little cost.
If Panama City Beach increases the number of recycle drop offs, say by two, put them in less obscure places and provide incentives like a cooking oil recycling program, people would be more inclined to participate. I know I would.
Panama City Beach can become a much greener place, all that’s needed is a little initiative.
If you are interested in taking your used cooking oil, Panama City dropoff/pickup locations are:
Behind the Old Bay County Library next to City Hall.
Texaco Station Jenks & 23rd St Intersection
Texaco Station Harrison Ave & Hwy 231 Intersection
Texaco Station at the Curve on Thomas Dr. PC Beach
Texaco Station at 1138 Beck Ave in St. Andrews
College Texaco Station on 15th St near G.C.C.C
Bay County Health Department on 11th Street
Rege Helletts Auto Body 2014 W.23rd St
Panama Generator & Alternator on 11th St