I am finding that more and more schools and restaurants are recycling their waste cooking oil because of the many benefits it has. For examples, restaurants such as the Piazza participates in the cooking and food waste recycling programs because it is better for the environment, it saves them money and the program is used by an at-risk program. Since January, this restaurant has used a free conversion service provided by GeoGreen Biofuels, Inc. The company picks up Piazza’s deep fryer waste oil and converts it into biodiesel fuel. According to GeoGreen’s website, biodiesel fuel releases about 80% less atmospheric pollutants. Furthermore, Piazza’s deep frying oil is not just recycled into biodiesel, but it also is converted into an alternative fuel that appeals to people who want to reduce their carbon footprint. I find this restaurant so fascinating because deep fryer oil is not the only thing they recycle. In the kitchen at the restaurant they have bins for edible leftovers, packing material, plastic bottles, lids, silverware and glass. A simple task such as collecting the leftover food and other recyclable from a restaurant kitchen is something that I think all restaurants should look into doing. The results are extremely beneficial in respect to the environment and education for the public.
On the university side of the subject, a school that we know pretty well has already investigated converting their waste cooking oil into biodiesel and the actual conversion and use of the biodiesel is underway. Allegheny College has a team of students and staff members, led by professor Richard Bowen, who conducted the study investigating various aspects of making cooking oil-based biodiesel available for the city’s use: among the information compiled were potential sources for the base ingredient, the volumes those sources produce, the city’s diesel fuel use and related expenditures and overall interest in pursuing the project. They not only use the campus’ waste cooking oil, but also local restaurant’s waste cooking oil. The combination of all of these establishments meets the required amount of diesel needed to run most of the diesel automobiles in the city. If this project could be completely carried through in that way, the city would save nearly $20,000 a year over the estimated cost of using only petroleum-based diesel fuel.I think the more and more evidence I find, the easier it will be to convince OWU to join in on this nationwide program and recycle our waste cooking oil into biofuel.