Starting in September, waste food oil will be collected along with other recyclables and made into biodiesel, Taiwan‘‘s Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has announced.

The Taipei Times reports that the programme has been established in conjunction with the Ministry of Economic Affairs‘‘ Green Country project, which mandates that all diesel sold in the country should include 1 percent biodiesel from July next year. The waste oils collected might also be used to make soap or as animal feed supplements.

EPA figures show that the nation produces 70,000 to 85,000 tonnes of waste food oil per year, mostly from the restaurant and food manufacture industries. Of this amount, 20 to 28 percent is generated by households. A pilot programme conducted in Chiayi from May to December last year collected 6.66 tonnes of waste food oil, an estimated 15 percent of all the waste food oils generated in the area in that time period. The oil was used to make biodiesel.

Song Yii-ren, division chief of the EPA‘‘s waste management department, said that the response to the program has generally been positive. “If you pour grease down the drain, you risk clogging your drains. If you mop it up with kitchen towels and throw it away, you‘‘re wasting paper and generating waste,” he said. “This is a hassle-free way of helping the environment and disposing of your waste at the same time.”

Unlike the kitchen waste recycling program, there is not yet a fine associated with not complying with the food oil recycling programme. Since waste food oil is a commodity, many commercial kitchens and factories may choose to sell rather than recycle their waste oils, but the EPA will ask them to keep track of where their waste is going, Song said.

Waste food oil is the latest item to be recycled rather than trashed in Taiwan. Kitchen waste, paper, plastic bags and bottles, old furniture, old electronic items and batteries are currently collected by recycling trucks at regular intervals.

Ano da Publicação:
WARMER BULLETIN ENEWS #19-2007-May 11, 2007
Rodrigo Imbelloni
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