I’m here to tell you about an upcoming seminar about local biodiesel efforts at (gasp) our rival, RIT. Ordinarily I would shy away from promoting the competition, but the e-mail I received about the event was from David Frank, a University of Rochester alumnus (and my former TA). Besides the seminar only takes place at RIT – it will be run by representatives from Monroe County and the New York State Pollution Prevention Institute.
Biodiesel is a very common fuel source with a variety of ingredients and applications. Vegetable or animal based oil are both viable for biodiesel conversion. Monroe County has an EcoPark where waste cooking oil can be dropped off and converted into biodiesel used in service vehicles and maintenance equipment. The EcoPark is also a place to drop off recyclable items like scrap metal, clothing, curbside recyclables, and large plastics. It occasionally will accept unwanted medications, tires, and refrigerant containing appliances.
Reuse of cooking oil prevents clogged sink drains, sewers, and ending at a landfill. A single liter of oil can contaminate as much as one million liters of water. Waste oil in a landfill causes pollution and can attract unwanted animal life. Indoors, storing waste oil is a health and fire risk. Interestingly, cooking oil can also be used to make soap. Unfortunately, the EcoPark does not provide soap making services. Despite this, teuse of cooking oil is now easy when there are so many services available for collection and distillation!
Those of you out there who work at or own a restaurant, please consider attending! Everyone is invited. The seminar is open to the public, though pre-registration is required.
The workshop is on October 5 from 9:00am to 11:15am. Registration is recommended prior to October 1, which is coming soon! Here is a flier for the event. Hope to see you there!
By Alanna Scheinerman, Class of 2013