COLUMBIA, SC - The city of Columbia, S.C., recently launched a new city program that collects used cooking oil so that Midland Biofuels can convert it into biodiesel to help run the city's fleet, the Free Times newspaper reported. 

The program, called Southern Fried Fuels, is a joint project with Midland Biofuels. 

Midland Biofuels pays for the used oil collection, while the city provides space for the collection tanks. The used oil from restaurants and residents is delivered to Midlands Biofuels' plant in Winnsboro. The oil waste is used to produce biodiesel that's sold back to the city to run its garbage trucks. 

The project isn't just about curbing emissions. The city hopes that the program will provide incentive for residents to stop pouring used oil down the drain. Columbia spends about $1.5 million each year dealing with grease-clogged sewer lines.