There’s cash in trash… Or in the case of Turkish Marine Protection Association General Director M. A. Ozkural, people can get money for turning in their waste cooking oil.
In the face of legislation banning the sale and distribution of waste cooking oil in the Philippines, one of the bigger problems will be be how to collect the waste cooking oil from small fast serve restaurants (carinderias) and even households.
The machine created by the Turkish Marine Protection Association may be just the answer to this.
An article on The Green Prophet tells of a machine where people can pour in their waste cooking oil and get money, bus tokens or coupons.
Called BAYTOM, the machine gives incentives to Turks to recycle cooking oil into biodiesel rather than dump it.
In cities with BAYTOMs (Waste Vegetable Oil Collection Machines), residents can bring their used cooking oil outside and pour it into a machine that will measure its fat content and dispense a small gift: money, bus tokens, or coupons, for example. Licensed waste management companies come regularly to collect the oil and transport it to a plant where it can be recycled into biodiesel fuel.
Used cooking oil dumped into sewers eventually ends up in streams, rivers, and lakes, significantly contributing to an increase in Biological Oxygen Demand which in turn kills these bodies of water.
Of the 350,000 tons of waste vegetable oil that Turkey produces each year, just 10 percent is collected for recycling. When it comes to biodiesel production capacity, however, Turkey has the second highest in the world, after Germany.
Most of it currently uses agricultural feedstock, but biodiesel production from waste oil is more environmentally friendly, according to Turkish Marine Protection Association General Director M.A. Özkural. When using waste oil, moreover, 65 to 80 percent of the liquid can be turned into biodiesel, which results in 50 percent less CO2 emissions than regular petroleum.
In the meantime, keeping waste oil from being dumped down the drain has a range of other benefits. Oils congeal on the insides of sewer pipes, causing blockages and reducing pipe flow capacity, which leads to extra municipal infrastructure expenses.
When it reaches open water, oil spreads thinly over the surface and prevents oxygenation, suffocating many types of marine life. The situation allows some creatures, like jellyfish, to flourish and undergo population booms that make it even more difficult for marine ecosystems to stay diverse. Just one liter of waste oil is enough to pollute 1 million liters of water. Domestic waste is responsible for 25 percent of water pollution in Turkey.