socio-political self-help and stuff
i mean, between clogging pipes or creating fuel, should there be a question? but here we are… cities and municipalities across the u.s. often find pipes clogged with the remnants of last night’s fried chicken-fest, causing pollution and ridiculous clean up costs passed on to taxpayers. san francisco’s public utilities commission estimates that oil clogged drains cost the city $3.5 million dollars yearly. and they’ve* done something about it. well, a little.
at various establishments throughout the city are oil recycling bins. collected used cooking oil becomes bio-diesel, used to power city vehicles. win-win. currently, there are eight such sites – but, in a city with almost three million residents, it is not enough. still, it is a start.
but we can do more. in several cities across spain, i found myself encouraged by the sight of oil collection bins on the street, every few blocks or so. making them accessible and therefore, more likely used. less than twenty years after recognizing the gravity of the problem and implementing its oil collection program, the spanish government is saving much-needed money and experiencing a reduction in impurities found in drinking water directly attributed to waste oil.
i recently learned of staygreen oil, an online marketplace for used cooking and motor oil. via auctions and requests for proposals, buyers and sellers of used oil now have a place to connect. while this program is more useful for businesses with large amounts of waste oil than for households, the purpose behind it is encouraging. and with over a half-million gallons exchanged thus far, it is catching on…
but again, we can do more. billboard campaigns are no longer enough. placing used oil into containers for landfill disposal won’t do, either. since there is a way to reuse vegetable oil that reduces our dependency on fossil fuels, why not do it? contact your local government and demand oil recycling. explain the cost, environmental and general do-gooding benefits. let’s leave this planet in better condition than we received it.