Saturday, December 29, 2007

Baranof Hotel Gets Cheap Oil

While oil field support executives were running their legislative log rolling scheme from Room 604 of the Baranof, the hotel was already starting to wean itself from petroleum and using its own kitchen cooking oil to heat the hotel. There was a short item in the ADN Money section on Thursday, December 27, 2007. I couldn't find it through Google, but found what might be the source - what looks like a copy of a Westmark Hotel press release on a December 17 Reuters report. Baranof general manager Steve Hamilton said they started using cooking oil because the local incinerator no longer took the oil. They now collect oil from other Juneau businesses
The Baranof creates a mix of 1/2 vegetable cooking oil and 1/2 fuel oil
which is then used to heat the hotel. The hotel can burn up to 2,000 gallons
of oil in one month and typically uses 10,000 gallons of cooking oil over the
course of the year. By using cooking oil, the hotel has reduced the amount of
fuel oil they use by 9,000 gallons a year.
So, with a little thinking we can find better ways to do things. Instead of paying someone to dispose of their waste cooking oil, they now save the cost of 9000 gallons of heating fuel. How many more clever alternatives are out there? It seems like we generally have to be forced to find them when business as usual doesn't work. Sounds like everyone is coming out ahead.
Environmental benefits from using vegetable oil include releasing fewer
pollutants into the air, recycling of carbon already in the system and a
reduction in carbon output. In addition, businesses in Juneau have found a
reliable way to dispose of unwanted cooking oil without running afoul of
environmental regulations. Employees from the Westmark Baranof Hotel pick up
the oil free at their doorstep each week.
Way to go Steve. And by the way, how come the ADN left out the environmental benefits in their version of the story? Or don't they talk about that sort of thing in the Money section?

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