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Something's cooking for biofuel gutter oil

By  Xie Yu and Wang Hongyi  (China Daily)

09:16, December 15, 2011

A police officer in Nantong, Jiangsu province, shows local residents how to distinguish gutter oil from the genuine article. The classes are part of a September campaign in the city to reduce the use of recycled gutter oil in public eateries. (China Daily/Xie Yu)

The smell from Zhao Feng's van is so disgusting that anyone sitting in the cab for five minutes begins to feel nauseous.

And that is not the worst, according to the 26-year-old former courier. "In the summer the smell is so strong that even people passing by cannot stand it."

But Zhao has to bear the odor, because that is part of his current job.

From time to time, he jumped down from the wagon and rushed off, returning with a number of dirty buckets filled with kitchen refuse and food waste blended with water and oil. It's a mixture that's often used to feed pigs in China.

From 7:00 am to 11:00 pm, Zhao and his father, 48-year-old Zhao Jinghua, a former farmer, drive around Suzhou in East China's Jiangsu province to collect kitchen rubbish from more than 100 restaurants.

Zhao Feng got this job more than a year ago. The work is much more tiring than delivering packages, but it pays much more, which is vital in helping to support his wife and two children. After Zhao had spent six months collecting waste, his father decided to join him.

In a good month as a mail courier, Zhao could earn more than 2,000 yuan ($317). His father used to make 2,000 yuan a year, growing peanuts and corn in their home province of Shandong. However, their new line of work means they can now earn a combined 10,000 yuan a month.

Moreover, both father and son believe they are performing a valuable service on behalf of the city. They are taking care of gutter oil, the discarded cooking material that clogs the city's sewers and can be seen glistening on the surfaces of the pools standing outside restaurants and other eateries.

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Sam Teng at 2011-12-16175.136.52.*
Biofuel gutter oil should not be used for cooking purposes because of its harmful effects on health of human. The Chinese government should make it illegal for manufacturers to sell recycled oil for human consumption, and should take legal action against errant manufacturers.The oil, if used repeatedly, could lead to hypertension, damage to the liver and a potential cause of cancer.The Chinese government should set a minimum standard for cooking oil so that errant manufacturers cannot escape legal action.
  

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