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For Enterprising Nebraskans, Lent Is a Chance for "Super-Charged Recycling"

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Grant Gerlock
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NET News/Harvest Public Media

On nights during Lent in Nebraska, the Friday night fish fry has become an annual tradition. And all of that frying uses up a lot of vegetable oil, which might be thrown out. But one enterprising Nebraskan had a better idea, reports netnebraska.org. At one recent fish fry, 800 people ate more than 200 pounds of fried fish.

After all the frying is done this lent, this one church might be left with around 150 gallons of oil to dispose of. Instead of dumping it, they give it to Leroy Forbes. By day, Forbes works for the Burlington-Northern railroad. But at night he’s a self-taught bio-refiner. And this time of year, he’s busy traveling to Nebraska fish fries, gathering used vegetable oil. Back home in his garage, he converts the fry oil to diesel fuel.

When he’s done, he’ll have around 500 gallons of biodiesel. Some call it super-charged recycling.