Whole Story

The Official Whole Foods Market® Blog

Powered by Recycled Cooking Oil

After nearly two years of planning and implementation, we are excited to announce that, beginning in January, our Whole Foods Market commissary kitchen in Massachusetts will get 100% of its electricity from recycled cooking oil.  Yeah! The waste vegetable oil used for frying food at the commissary kitchen facility as well as from 21 Whole Foods Market stores across the Northeast region, will be used as a biofuel in a cogeneration module using an internal combustion engine to generate electricity and usable heat.  We expect to repurpose over 1,200 gallons of cooking oil a week, which was previously considered a waste product, to fuel a system that reduces our dependency on conventional fossil fuel sources and results in less harmful emissions -- helping us move one step closer to our goal of becoming a zero waste company. The generator will have the capacity to meet the electricity needs of the entire commissary, just over 2,000,000 kWh's per year.  Producing electricity with waste biomass avoids new carbon dioxide emissions attributed to electricity generated using fossil fuels. Vegetable oil exhaust emissions that are produced contain virtually zero sulfur oxides and sulfates, major contributors to acid rain. The Boston Globe ran a great in-depth story on the new generator.  Lifecycle Renewables will be installing and operating the system as well as coordinating and managing the logistics involved with weekly waste cooking oil collections and fuel delivery. A huge thank you to everyone who has worked on bringing this great project to fruition.