Santee Cooper celebrates 25 years of recycling oil

Many people and companies have adopted policies for going green. Santee Cooper has been doing just that for 25 years now. The GOFER program or Give Oil For Energy Recovery program turned 25 this year. In that time they have collected millions of gallons of oil and turned it in to usable energy.

“We feel really good about how many gallons we have collected so far. We have collected 30 million gallons in 25 years,” says Nicole Aiello, Director of Public Relations for Santee Cooper

The company has been green since before being green was cool.

“Santee Cooper has always been committed to environmental stewardship. And really, this is the largest program in the state. And it started because there wasn’t a program in the state for that. So we did a pilot in 1990 and we realized right away that people really used the stations that we put together and so we actually put it state wide,” she explains of the evolution of the GOFER program.

The state owned utilites company is using the oil to create electricity.

“The oil that you drop off, you can drop it off across the state at all the different stations that we have, the GOFER stations. And it goes into a drum. And then we have people who come by a pick that up and put that into trucks, into the oil trucks and take it to our generating stations. There it’s actually used to produce electricity,” explains Aiello.

And 30 million gallons of oil can create a lot of electricity.

“The electricity that it has produced would be able to power every average sized home in the state for 10 days,” she says.

The green benefits of the GOFER program are twofold. Not only does the program recycle the oil, but it also helps keep our environment clean.

“This is a great way for us to help people in South Carolina dispose of used motor oil that would otherwise be discarded in ways that we wouldn’t like to see, possibly on land or in the water. This is a really safe place and a great way to do that,” she says.

With 450 GOFER stations across the state, the company wants to make it easy for you to recycle your oil.

“We really encouraged people who are do-it-yourselfers to bring their used motor oil here. And we will use that for great purposed here in South Carolina,” Aiello says.

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