Environmental Protection

Biodiesel in Alaska Made from Cooking Oil Waste

Alaska Waste’s biodiesel plant in Anchorage transforms cooking oil into transportation fuel; the company also uses that fuel to operate their own vehicles.

Alaska Waste, a biodiesel plant located in Anchorage, converts around 250,000 gallons of used cooking oil each year into fuel for the company’s collection vehicles. According to Chris Welker, district manager for the company, a network of commercial customers collect used cooking oil in large containers and donate it to Alaska Waste.

Alaska Waste, now owned by Waste Connections, Inc., is still working out the kinks in its approach to producing diesel, which is currently a break-even venture. The main focus of the program is for the cooking oil to be recycled and kept from becoming part of the solid waste stream.

In order for the oil to be converted into fuel, the oil is first collected by specialized pump trucks and delivered to the facility in Anchorage. Once the fuel arrives, the Alaska Waste plant changes the composition of the oil by using a chemical process, which then turns the material into biodiesel. Using this process to transform the oil into fuel allows the vehicles to run more smoothly.

Alaska Waste uses the biofuel in most of the company’s vehicles, but some is sold to a local petroleum distributor. In the event that too much oil has been collected by the company, the material is shipped to the Pacific Northwest to be used there.

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