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Something's cooking for biofuel gutter oil (4)

By  Xie Yu and Wang Hongyi  (China Daily)

09:21, December 15, 2011

As the only authorized collector of kitchen waste in Suzhou, Jiangsu Clean doesn't have to spend a penny on collecting the used oil. According to the municipal regulations, restaurants and other outlets are legally obliged to give their kitchen waste to the company, and it is illegal to supply kitchen waste of any kind to other collectors.

However, in other places biodiesel fuel producers are not so lucky. In Shanghai, Zhongqi Environmental Protection Co Ltd and Luming Environmental Protection Co Ltd are the only companies authorized to dispose of waste oil. However, a lack of raw materials means that both of them are engaged in a desperate struggle for survival.

"Our factory can produce up to 40 tons of biodiesel fuel every day, but currently we are only producing nine or 10 tons. We only work two days a week and the number of employees has shrunk by 50 percent," Xu Zhenye, the deputy general manager of Shanghai Zhongqi Environmental Protection, told SMG Radio.

Luming Environmental Protection, Xu's rival, is facing a similar predicament. "We receive less than 20 tons of raw material on a daily basis, which makes it hard to maintain normal operations," said a Luming staff member, who declined to give his name.

Shanghai is home to approximately 40,000 restaurants. The city has licensed more than 20 companies with 450 workers to collect and transport waste oil to the premises of Shanghai Zhongqi Environmental Protection and Shanghai Luming Environmental Protection. However, the companies only receive around 30 percent of the total waste produced in the city every day.

Insiders have no doubt that the missing oil is sent for illegal further processing and is then reused in restaurants, but the collection companies denied the allegations.

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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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