University of Alberta Teams Up with Sustainival to Fuel Green Energy Education

Connector Winter 2016

The University of Alberta’s used kitchen grease will now be used to power carnival rides and educate the public about more sustainable energy options thanks to a partnership with Edmonton-based non-profit Sustainival and their Green Grease program.

Like many large institutions, the University of Alberta (U of A) has dozens of food service locations on its campuses, many of which have deep fryer equipment. The used cooking oil from these fryers must be frequently changed out, resulting in an organic waste material. While used cooking oil could serve many purposes, traditionally it is captured and used primarily in the production of animal feed products. Recently, however, the U of A Waste Diversion Working Group was introduced to a local organization with an alternative vision for this energy-intense resource.

University of Alberta Sustainival-216Sustainival is the world’s first green carnival and it started in the U of A’s home town of Edmonton, Alberta. Sustainival uses the venue of a carnival as an educational platform to talk about cleaner, greener forms of energy – and they power the entire event with biodiesel. In 2014, Sustainival launched the Green Grease program and began to collect used cooking oil and produce their own biodiesel. Sustainival has reached over a million attendees at over a dozen different carnival events in Edmonton, Fort McMurray, Calgary, the Shambhala Music Festival and Little Rock, Arkansas with plans to bring a massive event back to Edmonton in June of 2017.

Excited by this innovative idea, the university ran a six-month pilot of the Green Grease collection program at two of their highest grease-generating locations and were pleased with the user-friendly bins and service levels provided by Green Grease. University staff encountered no spills and the bins were right-sized for each location. Following this successful pilot, the U of A expanded the program and is now proud to support Sustainival at all of its food service locations. The university aims to divert 90 per cent of its waste from landfill by 2020 and Green Grease is an exciting part of these efforts.

Submitted by the University of Alberta and Sustainival
Authors: Shannon Leblanc & Jessie Kwasny (U of A); Joey Hundert (Sustainival)