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The Power of Recycling Cooking Oil

COMMUNITY CENTERGreen Homes & BusinessesRecycling & ReusingNov 4, 2013Guest Contributor

Author: Guest Contributor

A variety of ways to generate power are becoming available in the United States. Solar and wind power are good options.  But for restaurants that want to help the environment and cut down on costs there is another practical solution.  Generators powered by used cooking oil are a perfect match for the restaurant that wants to be green. Depending on the type of food a restaurant serves, there could be quite a bit of used cooking oil leftover.  So why should your local greasy spoon consider a generator powered by used cooking oil?

Less Waste, More Profit
Restaurants normally pay for removal of used cooking oil so it makes perfect sense to turn it into a free power source instead!  These generators are able to use some, if not all, of the cooking oil produced by a restaurant.  Instead of collecting used oil and waiting for it to be picked up, a restaurant can generate a small amount of power to offset some of their other operating costs.  Reusing cooking oil also leads to a cleaner environment because used oil becomes power instead of being processed and disposed of as hazardous waste.

Fewer Emissions
As with burning any material, CO2 is released into the atmosphere when used cooking oil is burned. But, used cooking oil generators release less CO2 than natural gas-fired power plants per kilowatt hour. They are also more efficient than 60 percent of the power plants currently in operation around the United States.  Reducing CO2 emissions leads to cleaner air and a smaller carbon footprint.

Be a Steward of Your Community
If you own a restaurant and are looking for a way to engage your community, be a good steward of your local environment.  And once you do, make sure to tell everyone about it!  Although used cooking oil generators still create CO2 emissions, using one means that your business is committed to clean energy and a cleaner environment. Using a cooking oil generator won’t end air quality issues in your community, but it will show your customers that you have made a pledge to make a difference for future generations.

There are many ways businesses can improve their communities with green approaches to everyday business activities. It doesn’t hurt to stop and examine how simple changes in your business practices might make a big difference in your community.

Author: Elizabeth Reed is a freelance writer and a resident blogger at



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