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Oil's Well That Ends Well In New London

Students from Rhode Island have found a way to turn waste cooking oil into $30,000 of Bioheat, which they're donating to New London and Mystic Area Shelter and Hospitality.

New London to learn how to turn cooking oil into fuel. Patch file photo
New London to learn how to turn cooking oil into fuel. Patch file photo

A Press Release from the City of New London

On Thursday, Mayor Daryl Justin Finizio will welcome a group of students from Westerly, Rhode Island, who are working to expand their waste cooking oil recycling initiative in neighboring Connecticut.

Mayor Finizio will welcome the Junior WIN Team of Westerly, Rhode Island to New London along with the service committee students from The Williams School, New London, Connecticut. The City of New London will work with the students from Westerly and New London to explore bringing household grease recycling to the city of New London and its surrounding area.

During the assembly, the students from Project T.G.I.F will make a total contribution of $30,000 worth of Bioheat® to seven charities (WARM Center in Westerly, RI, Johnnycake Center of Westerly, RI, Mystic Area Shelter and Hospitality, Mystic, CT, Pawcatuck Neighborhood Center in Pawcatuck, CT, Keep The Heat On of Providence, RI and the Welcome House of Peace Dale, RI).  In addition, 1,000 gallons of Bioheat will be donated to a New London charity of Mayor Finizio’s choice.

The Junior WIN Team of Westerly Innovation Network, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization, founded the recycling project known as Project T.G.I.F. (Turn Grease into Fuel) in 2008, leading efforts to encourage household recycling of used cooking oil, selling the cooking oil back to a refinery, and using the profits to support charitable organizations that provide heating fuel assistance to families in need.  Currently TGIF collects waste cooking oil from 140 locations in Rhode Island, Connecticut and Massachusetts.  This donation brings the team’s total charitable donations to $121,000 worth of Bioheat® and has helped 290 families stay warm in the past 5 years.  

Grease and oil rinsed down household drains can have a serious damaging effect on plumbing infrastructure, both within homes and in the city’s sewer system.   SCRRRA (Southeastern Connecticut Regional Resource Recovering Authorities) recently signed an agreement with TGIF to have the program collect grease from its 12 towns / cities’ transfer stations. 

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