Waste oil from hotels and restaurants in Bali is being turned into biofuel, thanks to Green Fuels technology.
Caritas Switzerland is an organisation that focuses on socio-economic development in disadvantaged communities around the world. In cooperation with the Denpasar Environmental Agency, it is installing a Green Fuels biodiesel processor on the island of Bali with three immediate objectives:
- To reduce the greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to climate change
- To take used cooking oil out of both the food chain and the environment
- To socially uplift the community.
After carrying out an in-depth survey into the disposal of used cooking oil on the island of Bali, Caritas found that between 50 and 60% of the waste oil from hotels and restaurants ended up back in the food chain, being used at informal food stalls. Overused cooked oil forms carcinogenic substances which pose a risk to human health.
Caritas also discovered that 10 to 20% of used cooking oil was disposed of with solid waste, either to landfill sites where it forms methane as it decomposes, a greenhouse gas about 25 times more harmful to the climate than carbon dioxide, or into waterways where it pollutes the environment and drinking water. To address these environmental, health and social issues, Caritas has initiated a project to recycle used cooking oil from Bali’s hotels and restaurants into biodiesel.
How the system will work
To date, 108 hotels and 22 restaurants have agreed to participate in the project which is set to commence in October. The Green Fuels FuelMatic processing plant will be established in the Cargo area of North Denpasar. 30-litre jerry cans will be distributed free of charge to the participating hotels and restaurants for the collection of their used cooking oil; with every collection they will be exchanged with clean empty jerry cans. The project will co-operate with IDSIA, a Swiss university, which has developed software to optimize the collection route.
Participants from the hospitality industry have welcomed this initiative. One of the hotels, Aston International, plans to use this opportunity to train its staff on sustainable practices and develop a sense of responsibility for the environment. It intends using the biodiesel in its vehicle fleet and power generators.
Another participating hotel, Kuta Paradiso, said that with no government regulation for the disposal of used cooking oil, it was never sure of where it went after disposal. A representative expressed relief at knowing that it could be turned into something useful without harming the environment or the community.
An NGO will be established to manage the recycling project, providing jobs and training. With tourism being the main source of income on the island, providing a living for 70% of the population, there is plenty of scope for the project to extend to more hotels and restaurants, growing from converting 1000 litres of used cooking oil per day to 3000 litres.
- High amount of waste oil produced in the tourism industry
- Dumping of waste oil into water sources
- Reselling waste oil creates serious health hazards
- Lack of infrastructure and employment opportunities for local population