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Green Briefs: Turn kitchen waste into biofuel

Want to recycle that cooling oil left over from making French fries?

Far West Fibers is now collecting used oil and grease from the public and making it available to SeQuential Pacific Biodiesel for conversion into biodiesel.

Biofuels have lower carbon emissions than fossil fuels. Recycling the oil and grease also is a favor to your kitchen drain and the sewer system.

SeQuential produces biodiesel at its Salem plant from used cooking oil collected from more than 7,000 businesses, schools, restaurants and hospitals in the Portland area. The biodiesel is distributed to retail and commercial customers throughout Oregon, including the city of Portland, which fuels its diesel vehicles with the low-carbon fuel.

“We think the holiday season is the perfect time to invite individuals throughout the community to join us in contributing to a sustainable energy cycle,” says Tyson Keever, SeQuential general manager.

Used cooking oil should be brought in its original packaging and placed in clearly marked containers at the following Far West Fibers locations: 4629 S.E. 17th Ave., Portland; 12820 N.E. Marx St., Portland; 2005 N. Rosa Parks Way, Portland; 10750 S.W. Denney Rd., Beaverton; 6440 S.E. Alexander St., Hillsboro; and 341 Foothills Rd. in Lake Oswego.

For additional collection sites: http://www.sqbiofuels.com/locations/Used-Cooking-Oil-Drop-Off-Locations.1

Cut phantom energy waste

Energy Trust of Oregon is making available Kill A Watt energy monitors at more area libraries, allowing members of the public to check out the device like a book and use it to reduce home energy use.

The Kill A Watt is especially helpful in enabling people to understand “phantom power,” the amount of electricity expended merely to keep an appliance plugged in. Phantom power can account for 5 percent to 15 percent of a home’s electricity use.

People who check out the Kill A Watt simply plug it into an electric socket and then an electronic device. The monitor shows how much energy the device is using in kilowatt hours, the same measurement used on electricity bills.

Unplugging electronic devices or using power strips can reduce energy use and carbon emissions, while trimming electricity bills.

To find participating libraries and learn more about Kill A Watts: http://energytrust.org/library/build-energy-awareness/kill-a-watt.aspx Libraries within Energy