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MEET: Lengis Hijau- Recycling Used Cooking Oil and Transforming it into Biodiesel in Bali

Founded in 2013, Lengis Hijau went on to build Bali’s first facility to recycle cooking oil into biodiesel- an amazing initiative for Bali’s environment.

Lengis Hijau has a target to recycle between 400 and 600 m3 of used cooking oil per year into biodiesel. By substituting this amount of fossil diesel fuel for biodiesel it will save about 1000 to 1500 tons of climate damaging CO2 emissions.

A big share of used cooking oil  in Bali is not disposed of but rather resold via middlemen and local markets to small food stalls (warung). Reusing cooking oil creates high health risks (cancer) for consumers, who are often from a lower social strata.

A number of facts that strongly encouraged the project team to implement this recycling project appeared during an intense assessment of the baseline situation.

From 340 hotels and restaurants, Lengis Hijau found out that:
1. As many as 2,500 liters of used cooking oil are generated everyday.
2. The issue of used cooking oil disposal has not been dealt within any systematic manner. A lot of used cooking oil is not recycled in a sustainable manner. Instead about 50 to 60% of used cooking oil generated in hotels and restaurants goes to functional intermediaries of small food stall where it is again used to prepare food. This procedure is harmful to human health as it contains carcinogenic substances (e.g. aflatoxin and acrylamid) which are often formed in used cooking oil.
3. About 10 to 20 % of hotels and restaurants dispose of their used cooking oil either in solid waste to landfills (where it will decompose through anaerobic digestion processes into methane- a very harmful greenhouse gases, about 25 times more climate‐damaging than CO2) or into water bodies where it pollutes the aquatic environment and drinking water resources.
4. About 20 to 40% hotels and restaurants refused to disclose their used cooking oil disposal procedure.

For more on their important work head over to the Lengis Hijau website. Lengis Hijau is a partner of the Bio Bus initiative at Green School Bali and is supported by Caritas.