Fried Thanksgiving turkeys are a lot more polluting than you ever thought. Because people prefer having them deep-fried, they use several gallons of oil that usually gets dumped, ending up in a landfill. A New Orleans nonprofit organization is about to change that. They plan on recycling that oil into high quality biodiesel starting this year.
“There’s never been an education program in Louisiana on what people are supposed do with the used oil,” said Sidney Torres, president and owner of SDT Waste & Debris Services. “So normally what they do is put it in a trash bag and it goes to a landfill.”
The people who started the Golfsouth Youth Biodiesel Project, a program of Operation REACH, Inc. and AmeriCorps, use high school and college students to perform activities from collecting the oil from Louisiana restaurants to helping build the biodiesel plant located in Kenner, La.
“We’re gearing up to 500 gallons a day,” project director Simons-Jones said. “Basically one gallon of grease equals one gallon of biofuel. So the more we can collect the better we’ll do. We aren’t sure how much oil we’re talking about,”he said. “But from hearing how much people love fried turkey, it could be 10,000 gallons or more.”
The biodiesel plant, which is for the moment producing about 90 gallons of biodiesel a day, is going to sell the fuel to Golden Leaf Energy, a company specialized in biofuels. They will further help the biofuel produced in Kenner enter the mainstream and help reducing the CO2 emissions.