Recycling Used Cooking Oil and Transforming it into Biodiesel: Combating Climate Change and Poverty on Bali, Indonesia 

A social enterprise recycles used cooking oil thereby reducing fossil fuel consumption and greenhouse gas emissions

Project Background

The particular aim of this project is to develop and implement a used cooking oil recycling solution for the tourism sector in Bali. It is planned to recycle between 400 and 600 m3 of used cooking oil per year into biodiesel. By substituting this amount of fossil diesel fuel by biodiesel about 1000 to 1500 tones climate damaging CO2 emissions can be avoided. In addition to the CO2 mitigation effect the project reduces the pollution to Bali’s environment and adverse health impacts. In Bali used cooking oil is commonly discharged directly into the environment and causes pollution of water bodies, groundwater and soil. A big share of the oil is also reused as foodstuff. This share is commonly sold via middlemen and local markets to small food stalls (Warungs). The reuse of used cooking oil as foodstuff causes high health risks (cancer, etc.) to consumers who are often from a lower social strata. This practise of selling waste oil as food stuff can be categorised as highly critical since the origin of the oil is often not disclosed to customers and its consumption is highly health hazardous.

Within the project, a nonprofit social enterprise has been set up, which is carrying out the oil recycling business. By establishing the enterprise jobs for socially disadvantaged people are created and professional knowledge is imparted. In addition the project improves public awareness on environmental and health issues.

A number of facts that strongly encouraged the project team to implement this recycling project appeared during an intense assessment of the baseline situation. From 340 hotels and restaurants, we found out that;

  1. As much as 2500 liter of used cooking oil generated everyday.
  2. The issue of used cooking oil disposal has not been dealt within any systematic manner. A lot of used cooking oil is not recycled in a sustainable manner. Instead about 50 to 60% of used cooking oil generated in  hotels and restaurants goes to waste picker or functional intermediaries of small food stall where it is again used to prepare food. This procedure is harmful  to  human  health  as  it  bears  high  risk  through  carcinogenic  substances  (e.g. aflatoxin and acrylamid) which are often formed in used cooking oil.
  3. About 10 to 20 % of hotels and restaurants dispose their used cooking oil either with solid waste to landfills (where it will decompose through anaerobic digestion processes into methane. Methane is a very  harmful greenhouse gases, about 25 times more climate‐ damaging than CO2)  or into water bodies where it is polluting the aquatic environment and drinking water resources.
  4. About  20  to  40%  hotels  and  restaurants  refused  to  disclose  their  used  cooking  oil disposal procedure.


Caritas Switzerland, a Swiss based Non Government Organization developed a sustainable and safe solution for used cooking oil disposal (the recycling flow scheme is provide in to appendix 1). The recycling project has been developed in cooperation with the Indonesian Ministry of Home Affairs (MOU signed on 26 Juli 2010 and ammanded on 7 June 2011), with the City of Denpasar and the Environment Authority of Denpasar (Cooperation Agreement No.193/01/PKS/BKS/2012; No 069/CACH‐BALI/VI/201). The processing plant is operational since January 2013 Caritas Switzerland established a used cooking oil recycling system. The local NGO Lengis Hijau has been founded and will in future manage the oil recycling. For further details please refer to table below.

Activities Description Status
Established a social organization to operate the recycling system in a long term. The Yayasan Lengis Hijau has been established registered. Founded and operational
Provide astate of art bio diesel processor that produces high qulaity bio diesel from used cooking oil A Fuel matic 3 Bio diesel Processing plant from Green F UK has been setup Operational
System to collect used cooking oil from hotels and restaurants 4 pickup cars are available to collect the oil Operational
Train and empower local people Under privilege individuals have been recruited and trained Operational