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December 13, 2010

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Swill oil tip-off reward

AN unpalatable industry extracting oil from drains and gutters and selling it back for the dinner table is being targeted by city authorities.

To tackle the illegal "swill oil" industry, cash payouts will be made for tip-offs about the unlicensed processing and sale of the product, the Shanghai Greenery and Public Sanitation Bureau said yesterday.

Swill oil manufacturers collect cream-like residues from drains and gutters and boil it until a clear oil surfaces. This is sold to roadside restaurants and other outlets.

In another initiative, a blacklist of restaurants using swill oil and plants illegally manufacturing it will be released to the public on a regular basis. Offenders face fines or being closed.

Currently, only two plants in the city are authorized to dispose of waste oil, and 23 firms, employing 450 workers, are granted permits to collect and transport it.

The city produces about 900 tons of waste oil each month for legal collectors, which can yield 300 tons of coarse oil. Around 273 tons are sent to local firms Shanghai Zhongqi Environmental Protection Co Ltd and Shanghai Luming Environmental Protection Co Ltd, while the remainder goes to other plants for higher profits. Locally processed oil is converted into biodiesel.

But swill oil can yield higher profits, if it is sold on to food outlets.

Liu Weiguang, an official of the bureau, said whistleblowers will be rewarded, but did not detail the amount.

The hotline is 5290-1111.


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