Transportation / Mobility

December 15, 2009


Japanese City Starts Collecting Used Cooking Oil to Fuel Transit Buses

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

JFS/Higashiomi Chokotto bus
Copyright Higashiomi City

In September 2009, the city of Higashiomi launched a used cooking oil collection service for residents using its municipal "Chokotto" transit buses (chokotto bus means "quick bus ride" in Japanese). The collected cooking oil is refined and recycled for use as biodiesel fuel (BDF) in the very same buses, which run on 12 routes through the city.

Higashiomi has already drawn attention from all over Japan because of its eco-friendly "Nanohana" project (rapeseed flower project) -- involving a wide range of initiatives to create the infrastructure for a regional society based on resource recycling -- which includes the cultivation of rapeseed, use of rapeseed oil for home cooking, collection of the used cooking oil, and then refining it into fuel. To carry out the project, the city began cooperating with the local residents' association, gas stations, community councils, and companies. So far, it has collected 32,000 liters of used cooking oil, which represents 32 percent of all household-derived waste cooking oil in the city.

To recover used oil most efficiently, the focus of the bus-collection service is to promote citizen involvement. For residents, the system works like this: first, they peel off the labels from the empty clear plastic cooking oil bottle and rinse it; next, they fill it with their used cooking oil. Finally, they pass the full bottle to the bus driver when they get on the bus, and in return they receive a Chokotto Bus "Eco-Tomo" (which means "eco-friendly") voucher to use as a fare ticket worth 100 yen (about U.S.$1.1) on their next bus trip.

NPO Has Integrated Approach to Create Sustainable Community in Higashiomi (Related JFS article)

Posted: 2009/12/15 06:00:15 AM


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