State Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver and Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer came to Russ & Daughters, the legendary Lower East Side appetizing store, today to announce a program to make it easier for restaurants to recycle their used cooking oil. The Doe Fund will pick up the cooking oil for free and sell it to producers who will convert it to biodiesel fuel.
When first approached about the program, Silver said he immediately wanted to get Russ & Daughters involved. He said it made a strong statement to other restaurants and food stores that an “institution” in the neighborhood was getting behind the recycling initiative.
Tara DePorte of the Lower East Side Ecology Center said her organization has been training students and quite a few New Yorkers who have lost their jobs to help restaurants reduce their impact on the environment. The program will soon expand to East Harlem and Washington Heights. Restaurants who take part in the program are eligible for special tax credits from the state.