Monday, March 17, 2008

What to do with used vegetable oil? - Bring it to gas station!

What is the best way to get rid of used vegetable oil (cooking oil)? I am having hard time finding oil straightener/container to reuse vegetable oil, or oil-solidifier (I don't know what to call it) to toss in a garbage bin. I really don't know what to do. So my solution to address this issue right now is.......don't fry at home!

Well, can I bring it to gas station for recycling????:

Yes you can, if you live in this little town of Toyosato, Shiga, Japan.
Here is how the business works.

1) Gas station collects used vegetable oil (pick-up and drop-off) from households and restaurants

2) Gas station refines collected oil on-site

3) Refined diesel is sold to contracted businesses (bus services for elderly day care, package delivery company....)

This project turned to be effective in many ways.
* Gas station generated more customers because of the variety of collection boxes available on-site, including vegetable oils (in Japan, garbage source-separation is strictly enforced).

* One of the first users of refined diesel, bus services for elderly day care, placed a "eco-friendly energy" sticker on a bus, which worked as an ad and generated more diesel-users.

* Gas station got an offer from a major electronics factory (2500 employees)
-- it is to collect and refine used vegetable oil that comes from factory's cafeteria, and then deliver it back to the factory. Factory will use the oil for their trucks.

Previously, the owner of the station had been struggling to survive the price war, but now found the way to add value, differentiate his station from competitors making it so unique, and run a business sustainably.

Now that the gas price is so high, used vegetable oil can possibly charge so many cars I guess!

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