Transportation / Mobility

February 27, 2005


Using Waste Oil Cuts Community Bus Fuel Costs in Hirata City

Keywords: Local government NGO / Citizen Reduce / Reuse / Recycle Renewable Energy Transportation / Mobility 

Hirata City, located in Shimane Prefecture in western Japan, announced in October that by recycling used cooking oil as an alternative fuel for community buses since April 2004, its fuel costs for the six month period were cut by about 500,000 yen (about U.S. $4,500) compared to the previous fiscal year. The city has been encouraging residents to recycle their cooking oil as part of a campaign to clean up nearby Lake Shinji. According to a survey conducted in October, fuel costs for 10 buses running on diesel fuel increased due to higher diesel oil prices in September, while costs for three buses running on recycled waste oil dropped. This cost reduction was attributed to the use of waste oil, which is collected from citizens without charge, and exemption from a transaction tax that is imposed on diesel oil.

The city has set up 20 bases for collecting used cooking oil in community centers, school cafeterias, nursery schools, and businesses. The city obtained free used plastic containers from medical institutions in its suburbs and distributed them to household applicants to carry the waste oil. Of a total of 8,100 households in the city, about 6,700 households have so far brought their waste oil to the collection points. The collected oil is taken to a recycling plant and recycled into 21,000 to 23,000 liters of alternative fuel a year.

The alternative fuel from recycled oil emits almost no sulfur oxide and 30 percent less black smoke than diesel oil. The city intends to increase the number of buses running on recycled oil if a steady increase can be maintained in the amount collected.

Posted: 2005/02/27 03:16:39 PM
Japanese version