by Dawn Quirk
Did you ever think that the ingredients used to create those delicious sweet potato fries or other tasty meals from Carmichael or Dewick could possibly be recycled into biofuel? Well, wonder no more. A recent initiative formalized by an agreement between Tufts Dining Services and Middlesex Biofuel Inc. allows for our new waste oil service provider – Middlesex Biofuel – to pick up our kitchen waste oil and turn it into biodiesel.The Middlesex Biofuel Incorporation is a Boston recycling plant that works with the Massachusetts Alternative Fuel Foundation, a non-profit organization, to collect waste vegetable oil from hundreds of restaurants and kitchen facilities. After collecting the waste oil free of charge, Middlesex Biofuel Inc. refines it into clean burning biofuel.So, what are the benefits of this agreement? Since biofuel is made from a renewable resource, it helps reduce oil’s environmental impact as well as has lower emissions compared to petroleum diesel. It is less toxic than table salt, and biodegrades as fast as sugar. Click here to read more about the advantages of biodiesel on the biodiesel encyclopedia webpage. And if that isn’t enough, since it is made in the USA, it reduces our dependence on foreign oil and promotes local business. Currently, a large portion of the waste oil collected in Massachusetts is shipped overseas to be refined and sold abroad. Middlesex Biofuel Inc. helps put that business back into our economy by refining the oil locally and distributing it to local home heating supply companies and gas stations.
Additionally, as a non-profit, the Massachusetts Alternative Fuel Foundation donates all money received from the waste oil to fund scholarships for students interested in studying renewable energy, energy efficiency, and sustainable living topics. Now that’s efficient use of oil. Finally, from this agreement, Tufts Dining will receive an end of the year tax deduction form documenting the full value of the oil which is worth possibly $5,000 or more.
With this agreement, Tufts is promoting local business, alternative and sustainable energy, and helping to provide scholarships for future leaders of the renewable energy movement. A big thumbs up to Tufts Dining for adopting this change!