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Don't dump it, GOFER it!

August 05, 2015   By Susan Mungo in Environmental Stewardship

On July 30, Santee Cooper's GOFER program turned 25. When you think of a gopher you may picture the cute one from Winnie the Pooh or the dancing rascal in "Caddyshack."  At Santee Cooper, our GOFER is cute and can occasionally be seen in parades or at local festivals. But the most impressive thing about our GOFER is what it has represented and accomplished in its 25 years of existence.

GOFER, which stands for Give Oil For Energy Recovery, is Santee Cooper's used oil collection and recovery program and South Carolina's largest used-oil collection program for do-it-yourselfers. So this GOFER is not only good looking and talented, this GOFER is also innovative and resourceful.

GOFER collects and then utilizes that used oil as an energy source, taking this waste product and using it to make electricity. The majority of the oil collected is used as supplemental fuel at Winyah Generating Station.

Our GOFER fleet consists of four vacuum trucks and three tanker trailers that collect oil at 450 GOFER sites and from approximately 1,500 industrial and commercial operations, including farmers. These collection sites make it easy for you to recycle your used oil, kerosene, diesel fuel, hydraulic fluid and more.

Over the last 25 years, more than 30 million gallons have been collected. This not only keeps that waste from contaminating our soil and water, that waste has been converted into enough electricity to power every average-sized home in the Palmetto State for 10 days.

Our GOFER program is just one of the many ways we demonstrate our enthusiasm for and commitment to environmental stewardship.

Happy Birthday GOFER! Here is hoping the next 25 are even more successful.