A LOCAL restaurant in Baguio City is fighting pollution through biofuel.

Forest House owner, Ari Verzosa, has created a way to save fuel and propagate better air quality.

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Used cooking oil from the Verzosa chain of businesses started the idea of producing their own fuel slowly asking other establishments to join the crusade.

Verzosa said he came up with the project when he noticed one December morning the smog of the city. “It was really ugly, I wanted to do something.”

The concept of using cooking oil as an alternative fuel is not new, with enterprising groups dabbling into the alternative fuel business, realizing the win- win situation it posses.

“We use about 500 liters a day; my car is running on 100 percent pure cooking oil now and the smoke smells like barbeque,” Verzosa said.

Verzosa is also now chairman of the environmental group, Biofuel Philippines, Inc. (BPI), which he set up for the project.

The Kias jeepney line, which ply’s the Military Cut-off Road has been using the alternative oil, saving as much as P1,500 a month.

The alternative oil can be used 100 percent for vehicles but because of the still low supply BPI has, Verzosa is recommending it to be used at a 20 percent rate for jeepneys.

Verzosa sells the oil at P32 per liter compared to regular diesel price of P37 here. “We gave it for free for a few days so drivers could test it, and they liked the effect.”

Jeepney drivers attest smoke emissions are now less as well as smoother machine flow, the engines are also cooler, making it more manageable.

BPI purchases used oil from fastfood chains like Jollibee and McDonalds, as well as the Hotel Veniz, but admit it needs more cooking oil. “We are trying to tap more to sell us their used oil rather than to animal breeders who use it to mix feeds with,” Verzosa said.

Some establishments sell the used oils to chicken, pig and duck raisers to be used as extender to the feeds.

Tons of waste cooking oil indiscriminately discarded by households, hotels, restaurants, fast-food chains and eateries pollute the environment, particularly our drainage and water systems, rivers, lakes and seas.

“We are literally eating the used oils when they do this,” Verzosa said.

In Japan, used oil from restaurants are collected and recycled into vegetable diesel fuel (VDF). VDF gives off no sulfur oxides and less than one-third of the black smoke emitted by gasoline.

Verzosa plans to expand the project’s reach to the barangay level in oil collection.