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Talking Turkey, Deep-fryers Go Green

Newport – Thanksgiving chefs toting the bird outside to the backyard deep-fryer have the opportunity to go green this year. Rhode Island Resource Recovery (RIRRC), in conjunction with Newport Biodiesel is promoting Thanksgiving and holiday cooking oil recycling.

Recyclable cooking oils in the form of vegetable, olive and corn oil are allowed. Leftover cooking oils can be dropped off at the RIRRC facilities in Johnston during regular business hours, at local transfer stations and at Newport Biodiesel.

In a press release on Tuesday, RIRRC launched its holiday alternative fuel source recycling initiative. Although the cooking oil waste collection is offered year round, the holiday months and Thanksgiving, with the penchant for deep-fried birds trending, offers a unique opportunity for natural oil waste recycling.

“Cooking oil that is collected at Resource Recovery is converted by Newport Biodiesel into a clean-burning, renewable fuel source that is used locally and throughout New England,” said Sarah Kite, RIRRC’s Director of Recycling Services.

“We are especially proud of this partnership as it helps to create a resource that not only benefits the Rhode Isalnd environment, but also helps to divert additional waste from the landfill. We encourage all Rhode Islanders with leftover cooking waste to consider using our drop-ff collection during the Thanksgiving holiday and throughout the year.” – Sara Kite

Newport Biodiesel, in existence in Rhode Island since 2006 has grown from a 2-man start-up operation to a multi-state collection and processing center, servicing the restaurant, recycling and higher education industries.

“We have been working with Resource Recovery since around 2010,” said Donald Booth, Collections Manager at Newport Biodiesel. ” We picked up from them three times this year and three times last year.”

According to Booth, the company removes water, bone and food particle from the collected material, cleans and dries the material and converts it to biodiesel through a chemical treatment process.

“We are currently processing about 4800 gallons per day and are looking to increase that capacity,” said Booth. “We are just getting close to the 1 million gallons collected this year and expect to get there by next week. We produce a little more than we take in and are already at 1.3 million gallons of biodiesel this year.

Backyard cooking oil recycling promotes alternative fuel sources.

Advancing its Green technologies and environmentally supportive policies, RIRRC encouraged Rhode Islanders to recycle leftover cooking oils.

“Cooking oil should never be poured down the drain as it can damage a home’s plumbing and a neighborhood’s sewer system. While it is a non-hazardous material and safe for disposal in the trash (when placed in a watertight container), the proper disposal of cooking oil supports an environmentally sustainable initiative here in Rhode Island,” the organization said in its release.

There is a slight increase in production of cooking oil waste during the holiday season, with people dropping off collected cooking oil waste at transfer stations and the facility. According to Booth, Newport Biodiesel’s busiest season is during the summer when restaurants and tourism is high.

“During the summer, a restaurant like George’s of Galilee can produce 400 – 500 gallons of oil per week,” said Booth. “Restaurants like George’s and Aunt Carries require weekly pick-ups during those months. There is some seasonality with some of those restaurants, but then we pick up with the colleges and universities during the academic year.”

Rhode Isanders are encouraged to drop off their cooking oil waste at RIRRC  during regular business hours, Monday – Friday, 6:00 a.m. to 3:45 p.m.


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