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February 28, 2013

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City ramps up efforts to control swill oil

A NEW regulation designed to cut the use of swill oil requires restaurants and food producers to sell used kitchen oil to licensed collectors.

The new regulation, which takes effect tomorrow, states that any individual or company illegally involved in collecting or processing used kitchen oil will face up to a 100,000 yuan (US$15,873) fine. Those involved in serious cases could face criminal charges, according to the regulation.

"The fine is much higher and shows the government's determination to control swill oil," Liu Ping, vice director of the city's Legal Affairs Office, said yesterday. "The previous maximum fine was 30,000 yuan."

Currently, eateries and food producers were expected to follow a kitchen waste rule that was launched in 2005. It required them to pay a waste treatment fee - 15 yuan to 60 yuan per container of kitchen waste and 3.75 yuan to 15 yuan per container of used kitchen oil. The price varied depending on the size of the container.

Last year, some 32,000 restaurants and food producers disposed of 23,000 tons of used kitchen oil.

Officials said almost all eateries and food companies producing used oil have been included in the monitoring network although "there is the possibility that these facilities don't turn in all their used oil," said Gu Zhenhua, vice director of the Shanghai Food Safety Office.

Officials estimated the city produces 70 to 80 tons of used kitchen oil every day.

The government has worked out a monitoring system covering the collection, transport and processing of swill oil.


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