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How Recycling Used Cooking Oil Can Save The Environment

This is the story of Peace. She owns a restaurant in South Africa.

For frying she needs a lot of vegetable oil – which Peace uses only twice, because the consumption of overused oil has been linked to liver damage, depression and cancer.

frying with vegetable oil

So what should be done with the leftover oil?

Throwing it into the toilet is no solution!

Just one liter of oil could cause a blockage of the sewage system, which can result in sewage polluting the drinking water.

This would cause many people to become sick or worse.

Is there no way to recycle the oil?

Yes, there is!

The used plant oil gets rancid or spoiled and shouldn’t be used for meals any more.

But it still has a lot of energy that could be recycled as biodiesel, glycerol or bioparaffin.

Millions of liters of used cooking oil are exported, even though many local companies have processing plants to recycle the oil as an alternative source of energy.

Peace is excited! With such low employment rates in resource-poor areas, buyback collection could be a huge driver in job creation.

Buyback collectors would buy used oil from Peace and other traders and take it to local collection points.

Testing the quality is very important: No motor oil, animal fat, water or solids belong in the drum.

One drop results in the loss of the entire contents.

Only used vegetable oil like sunflower, palm, or soya can be recycled.

Then, the collection point calls a collection company. They deliver the oil to a processing plant where it is recycled into renewable fuel.

What a success!

After work Peace now drives home with her scooter running on renewable biodiesel.

She washes her hands with locally produced glycerol-soap.

washing hand

When cooking, Peace lights the grill with firelighters manufactured at the new production site in her neighborhood.

At the celebration of all the new jobs in the community they use bio-paraffin to warm the heating plates. Renewable energy from used cooking oil is a win-win situation for everyone.

Do you want to reduce health risks and unemployment?

Ask local institutions to become a collection point – or contact a recycling company for more information.

Author: Ursula Eckmann


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