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From the fryer to the fuel tank

By Heather Hintze 8:18 PM January 8, 2014

Alaska Waste powers its fleet of garbage trucks with a biodiesel blend that incorporates used cooking oil from dozens of businesses

ANCHORAGE – The Peanut Farm goes through a lot of hot wings: 600,000 pounds a year. At roughly 15 wings per pound, that’s more than nine million annually.

To keep food tasting its best, kitchen staff swaps out the cooking oil every other day.

“Before there was a lot of grease on the floor and now it’s pretty nice and clean,” said Kitchen Manager Jose Rodrigues.

That’s because Alaska Waste now recycles it into biodiesel.

“It’s about 45 to 50 gallons and they pick it up once a week,” Rodrigues said.

The Peanut Farm is one of 240 businesses that participate in the program.

Alaska Waste also provided a free drop-off for residents from Thanksgiving to New Year’s Day. People took advantage and brought in more than 500 gallons.

“People that maybe one time use deep fryers in terms of turkeys for the holidays might not know what to do with their oil, so why not offer a free service and allow them to learn about what we offer and dispose of it if they’re only deep frying once a year,” said Lead Biodiesel Technician Michael Shrewsbury.

Residents can now drop off used cooking oil at the recycling facility off Dowling Road for $1 a gallon.

It’s then processed in a one-of-a-kind facility and then goes to the lab for testing.

The pure biodiesel is blended with petroleum. In the winter it’s a five percent blend and 20 percent in the summer.

Alaska Waste uses 35,000 gallons a year to fuel its entire fleet of garbage trucks.

“It really benefits the community as well knowing that our trucks run through so many neighborhoods, and if your kids are playing outside why not have a little bit of peace of mind knowing you’re not having the full amount of possible emissions,” Shrewsbury said. “You’re reducing them.”

The company hopes to increase production, but for now, every gallon counts.

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