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More hotels, restaurants contribute to biodiesel project

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The number of hotels and restaurants participating in a recycled cooking oil project has increased significantly, an activist has said.

When the project started in 2012, hotels and restaurants contributed 200 liters of used cooking oil per day.

“Now, we receive 500 liters of used cooking oil a day to be processed into biodiesel. The amount of used cooking oil contributed to the project is, however, still below our target of at least 1,000 liters per day,” said Endra Setyawan, a member of staff at Lengis Hijau Foundation, which runs the recycling project.

Initiated by Caritas Switzerland, an organization focusing on socioeconomic development, the project aims to reduce greenhouse emissions, protect soil and water and avoid various health risks by reducing human consumption of overused cooking oil.

In 2010, Caritas Switzerland conducted a survey regarding the use of disposed cooking oil from hotels and restaurants in Bali. The survey revealed about 50 to 60 percent of this used cooking oil went to waste pickers, who would sell it to small food vendors.

The survey also found about 10 to 20 percent of hotels and restaurants disposed of their used cooking oil either with solid waste to landfills, where it would decompose and form methane — an extremely harmful greenhouse gas about 25 times more climate-damaging than carbon dioxide, or into water bodies, polluting the environment.

“There are 150 hotels and restaurants in Denpasar, Badung, Gianyar and Karangasem participating in the project,” Setyawan explained, while taking part in an exhibition at Lumintang park in Denpasar over the weekend.

With support from Caritas Switzerland and the Denpasar mayoralty, Lengis Hijau Foundation is now processing used cooking oil into biodiesel at its factory on Jl. Cargo Sari in Ubung, Denpasar.

The factory was officially opened and has been in operation since February 2013.

Pua Muhammad Saleh, project manager, called on hoteliers and restaurant owners to be more involved in the project. The factory has the capacity to process 3,000 liters per day of cooking oil with a semi-automatic biodiesel processor.

“Some hotels and companies have shown their eagerness to procure biodiesel fuel for their heating, laundry and generators at Rp 9,500 [81 US cents] per liter,” Setyawan said.

However, he was concerned that many intermediaries purchased used cooking oil from hotels and restaurants at Rp 5,000 per liter.

“We can only pay Rp 2,000 per liter. We are suspicious that these people collect the used cooking oil and sell it to street food vendors.”

Nyoman Murdayasa, head of Denpasar Environment Agency’s pollution section, said that his office was investigating a number of individuals and companies involved in this illicit practice.

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Last changed: Tue Mar 04, 2014 at 9:06 pm

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