Green Musings of an Eco Resort

Sunday, January 22, 2012

one man's trash is another man's........profit?

When living in the islands you tend to become a little disconnected from the news and current trends. By the last day of vacation most are very curious as to what they've "missed" for news over the past week while at Maho, just imagine how much those of us that have been here over the entire winter have "missed!"

Maybe we don't have time for it or maybe it just doesn't fit our current lifestyle: all the snorkeling, swimming, beaching, boating, hiking, sailing, and diving that we do - where would catching up on the 2012 election fit in that schedule? wait, is this even an election year?

For the past year or so we've been collecting used fryer oil and burning it when firing our pottery kiln. The setup and idea is great: burn something abundant and something all restaurants are paying to get rid of on St. John, and do so in a cool way: creating pottery! I mean, who else has a vegetable fired pottery kiln? So when guests ask us questions like "why would someone be crazy enough to just 'give' you their old vegetable cooking oil, people pay a premium and even steal the stuff from restaurants in the states" we tend to look confused. Apparently used fryer oil is in high demand! - well that's news to us! The NY Times article is very interesting, especially for those of us that didn't know stealing vegetable oil is now a serious business, costing some restaurant chains millions each year.

Pictured below is our wood kiln (retrofitted!) for oil burning. Oil used for the firing come from us, as well as other St. John restaurants. The kiln is fitted with 4 burners (like the 2 pictured), which help it reach the 2,300 degrees needed for each firing.

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