POSTED: 1:30 a.m. HST, Apr 14, 2011
Question: I have about 6 gallons of cooking oil that I’ve accumulated over the years frying turkey. Several calls and emails to various agencies have proven futile in helping me get rid of this oil. I certainly don’t want to dump it in the trash or down a storm drain. Who is willing to take this oil for recycling?
Answer: Good that you’re looking to recycle the oil, because the city Department of Environmental Services says you should never dump it down your kitchen sink, toilet or storm drain.
Fortunately, you have a recycling option: Pacific Biodiesel will accept used household cooking oil, which it recycles into biodiesel, an alternative to petroleum diesel fuel.
If you take the used oil to an Aloha Aina Earth Day recycling event, Pacific Biodiesel will donate $1 per gallon (recently increased from 50 cents) to the host school or organization.
Pacific Biodiesel participates in the two main Aloha Aina events each month, a spokeswoman said. It accepts any type of cooking oil, but it must be vegetable-oil based. It does not accept motor oils or other petroleum-based oils.
An average of about 20 gallons of oil a month is recycled through the Aloha Aina events.
For the Aloha Aina schedule, go to www.hawaiimetalrecycling.com/docs/AlohaAinaProjectsFor2011.pdf or contact Rene Mansho at 306-1876 or RMansho@schn.com.
You can also drop off oil at Pacific Biodiesel’s plant at 1003 Makepono St. on Sand Island from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. on weekdays.
For more information, call 841-2177 or go to www.biodiesel.com/index.php/biodiesel/used_cooking_oil_from_your_home_can_be_recycled_too.
For those who can’t recycle, the Department of Environmental Services advises using the “absorb and trash” method: Pour the oil into a plastic bag with absorbent material, such as shredded newspaper, old rags or sawdust. Seal the bag, then throw into the trash.
Question: A postal worker mistakenly left the master mailbox unlocked at our building. All the boxes could be examined and mail taken from anyone. Our apartment just had a robbery so we were concerned. I tried to call the post office about 2:40 p.m. Saturday, but the number in the phone book only lists an 800 number and no local numbers. I was unable to talk to a real person no matter which option I selected. How do we contact the post office in an emergency?
Answer: You should call the Postal Inspection Service, listed in the phone book as 877-876-2455.
The emergency option is Option 2, which connects to the National Law Enforcement Communications Center. It would notify the duty inspector about the situation, according to a postal service spokeswoman.
You can call 800-ASK-USPS (800-275-8777) to get local phone numbers, but it does not work after hours.
To all those who came to my aid when I was in a major auto accident on Sunday night, April 3, in Mililani. I was in a state of shock and unfortunately, remember neither names nor faces of people who tried to care for me. In particular, I wish to thank the gentleman who mentioned his emergency medical personnel background, his brother and a lady with a nursing background. I had begun feeling more cynical about inherent good in human nature. This accident helped me regain some confidence about humanity and good Samaritans, including the driver who hit me. The genuine apology from the driver and concern for my well-being somehow helped lessen my pain. By the way, I firmly believe that my seat belt saved my life. — Tom Kenney Sr./Mililani
Write to “Kokua Line” at Honolulu Star-Advertiser, 7 Waterfront Plaza, Suite 210, 500 Ala Moana Blvd., Honolulu 96813; call 529-4773; fax 529-4750; or email email@example.com.