ReFuel Program

ReFuel PGH was a program of GTECH that focused on a waste-to-energy solution that aimed to reduce air and water pollution and help fuel local economies by recycling waste cooking oil into a cleaner burning fuel.

In 2010, ReFuel PGH in partnership with Give Energy and Whole Foods, installed their first oil drop-off bin outside the Whole Foods Market in East Liberty. The second one was installed in partnership with Oakland Planning and Development Corporation (OPDC) during the fall of 2012 with funding provided by the Heinz Endowments.

When vegetable oil in homes is not recycled, it often ends up going down the drain. The oil clogs pipes which constricts our sewer system’s capacity during storm events and can cause ruptures. In Pittsburgh’s joint sewage and stormwater drainage system this results in combined sewer overflows, which releases unprocessed sewage into our rivers.

The bins were used to collect used cooking oil produced by households. All oil collected was guaranteed to go to the production of renewable biofuel, which produced 85% less emissions as a traditional fuel.

Project updates: We no longer pick up oil, but Braddock-based Fossil Free Fuel or Buffalo Biodiesel does!