Local company turns cooking oil into fuel for school buses

FORSYTH COUNTY, N.C. -- SO-IN Forsyth has a goal that involves using local resources to help your kids get to school.

"Our mission is to collect waste cooking oil from the restaurants in Forsyth County and ultimately take that and put it in our local school buses," said Sara Brennan, owner of SO-IN North Carolina.

Many school systems across the country, as well as in the Triad, already use a form of biofuel in their buses, but they said it can be costly.

Guiford County Schools' transportation director said they only use the fuel for three months out of the year. A Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools spokesperson said they only use about 5 percent of biofuel.

"This falls right in line with the City of Winston-Salem and Forsyth County and their goal to have a more sustainable county," said Magalie Yacinthe, owner of SO-IN Forsyth.

That's where their company wants to help. So far, they've signed up more than 100 restaurants that will allow them to collect their used cooking oil.

Turning this old oil into biofuel is more environmentally friendly than the other gas buses usually use.

"We are ultimately trying to get restaurants to understand the importance of what we're doing to impact the students right here in our community," Yacinthe said. "Get better fuel in the buses. It doesn't impact just the students but it impacts all of us. The air we breathe in this community."

Their goal is to get at least 300 businesses on board so they can start refining the oil.

"Keep all of that local as an economical development tool to create jobs, to lower our carbon footprint and to make the school buses a healthier mode of transportation," Brennan said.

SO-IN Forsyth said they're hoping they can get county and city officials involved, as a part of their sustainability initiative. Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools officials said they're glad that a local business is thinking of ways to help them save the planet.

For more information on SO-IN Forsyth, click here to visit their website.

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