Reduce / Reuse / Recycle

August 24, 2002


Stop for Gas, Drop Off Recyclables: Unique Gas Stations Serve as Community Centers

Keywords: Climate Change Eco-business / Social Venture NGO / Citizen Non-manufacturing industry Reduce / Reuse / Recycle Transportation / Mobility 

In 1997, Japanese trading company Aburatou Shoji started to collect recyclables in an effort to draw more customers, by placing collection bins for aluminum and steel cans, PET bottles, and milk cartons at its gas stations. As the company had hoped Gasoline sales have risen steadily since the idea was launched, up six percent in 2001, compared to the previous year.

In a particularly unique idea, the company also accepts used cooking oil from "tempura" (a Japanese deep-fried dish). The cooking oil collected from the gas stations is transported by special trucks owned by the "Environment Co-operative Union Shiga" and recycled into soap and biodiesel fuel. Aburatou buys the soap from the co-op for use in car washes, and the biodiesel for sale at the stores.

Another popular product at Aburatou is recycled windshield wipers. Used wipers are disassembled to collect the blade assemblies. The reusable ones are then sorted, cleaned, and re-painted before installation of new rubber blades. About 50 to 60 wipers are sold every month.

Posted: 2002/08/24 11:19:54 AM
Japanese version