29 November, 2006

Gas gobbler

Whilst we have no current information on whether The city of Plano, Texas, is twinned with anywhere, Glasgow would have to be a contender.

Until recently I was blissfully unaware of the culinary treat that is a deep-fried turkey, but apparently it's all the rage in the south.

A turkey fryer is just like any other type of deep fryer but bigger. It can fit a 40-pound turkey. It's filled with peanut oil and heated with propane, and after the turkey is finished the cook calls a city hotline to have the oil collected. Eventually it's used for biodiesel - a fuel derived from biodegradable sources that can be used by most diesel engines.

"This is our busiest time, the week after Thanksgiving. We collect about 500 gallons of turkey fat during that time," said Lois Woolf, a Plano City worker, as she hoisted a plastic container of oil left outside someone's home for collection.

In 2005, Plano collected 1,200 gallons of cooking oil, the vast majority turkey fryer fat. The bulk of it is picked up during the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays

"The City of Plano has a rolling stock of 700-800 vehicles and 59 of these are using hybrid or alternative fuels," said Melinda Sweney, the Sustainability Communications Coordinator for Plano.

She was unable to confirm whether any of the 59 vehicles were reinforced ambulances or hearses.

13 Step to the white courtesy phone:

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