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Filters to stem illegal gutter oil business

ALL the 60,000 plus restaurants in Shanghai will be ordered to install an oil filter that can separate used cooking oil from watery kitchen waste as the city takes another step to eliminate swill oil business.

Yan Zuqiang, director of the Shanghai Food Safety Office, said today that the installation is mandatory and new restaurants are not allowed to open if they are not equipped with a filter.

Yan said about 500 restaurants have used the filters as a trial which proved successful.

The medium and large restaurants are required to install the filters -- some as big as a small room -- before June while smaller ones are expected to get equipped before the end of this year, Yan said.

In the past, restaurants had to pay officially-appointed waste oil collectors and to save costs, they just dumped the swill into the sewer or, even better, sold it to underground recyclers who refined it into cooking oil again.

The cost of installing the filers will be paid by two licensed companies that will collect the waste oil for free and process it into diesel.

The Ministry of Public Security said police across the country have destroyed 135 underground swill oil mills since last August and arrested about 800 people. The Supreme People's Court yesterday reiterated the government's resolve to eliminate the illegal business and warned capital punishment for some offenders.


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