Northwest Burger Chain Begins Biodiesel Production Plan

The Holland, Inc., announced that it has implemented a program in which it will recycle the cooking oil from its Burgerville restaurants into biodiesel, a cleaner burning blend of diesel fuel. All 39 Burgerville locations throughout the Pacific Northwest will have their used cooking oil picked up by Portland-based MRP Services and taken to a processing plant where the oil is transformed into methyl esters (biodiesel) and glycerin (a byproduct) through a process called transesterification.

“The Holland has a long-standing commitment of initiating programs that sustain the environment in which our restaurants are located,” said Jack Graves, chief culture officer at The Holland. “By turning our used cooking oil into a fuel source that is less toxic to the environment, we are helping maintain the communities in which we live and work.” MRP Services, a family-owned plumbing and drain service company, will pick up the used cooking oil on a monthly basis, depending on the amount of oil that each Burgerville location uses. “Burgerville was an obvious source for us to get cooking oil from,” said Will Craig, commercial accounts manager, of MRP Services. “Our pump truck division, which picks up the oil, has become the largest division within MRP Services. With the amazing amount of growth within the biodiesel industry and a company like The Holland using their cooking oil for biodiesel, MRP expects that it won’t be long before the cooking oil collection becomes a division on its own.” Biodiesel is currently the only fuel to have fully completed the health effects testing requirements of the 1990 Clean Air Act Amendments. It is made from renewable resources and has lower emissions compared to petroleum diesel, is less toxic than table salt and biodegrades as quickly as sugar. The state of Washington has House bill 2664 in its Senate that would create a biofuel standard that includes biodiesel. When the bill comes into effect by December 1, 2008, it will require all diesels sold in the state to contain a minimum of 2 percent biodiesel.
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