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COMMUNITY PROBLEM SOLVING PROJECT

Project C: Waste Cooking Oil in Brunei By students: Rufaidah Hj Ibrahim, Hartini Hassim, Safura Dato Seri Setia Hj Lamit and Jm Qistina Rangga. Problems: A large amount of oil is used in Bruneian cooking, as deep frying is a common and popular method of cooking food. The high fat content of deep-fried food poses a health risk to the people who consume it, but the residual oil, if improperly disposed of, poses a completely new problem that does not receive enough publicity. Members of the Bruneian public are not truly aware of the problems associated with reusing cooking oil and disposing of waste cooking oil improperly. There are no proper facilities for waste cooking oil disposal or appropriate enforcement of regulations. Currently, used cooking oil is primarily disposed down drains, dumped on the ground or in landfills, or donated to market food vendors. Health problems arise from reusing cooking oil more than once. Improper disposal of used cooking oil results in the blockage of drains and sewers. In addition it contributes to the killing of terrestrial and aquatic plant and animal life, like a silent and invisible oil spill no one is aware of.

Figure 1 & 2. Improper disposal of waste cooking oil into sink or down the drain.

COMMUNITY PROBLEM SOLVING PROJECT

Possible solutions: The collection and recycling of waste cooking oil can be viewed as a business venture that is currently an unoccupied niche. Facilities could be made for collecting and reusing the waste oil as car fuel. Alternatively waste cooking oil may be used as raw materials for products such as soaps and candles. The Brunei government and the Bruneian people should take responsibility for proper management of waste cooking oil disposal. The public needs to be informed of adverse consequences of using used cooking oil and disposing of waste oil improperly. They also need to be introduced to alternative methods of cooking which are better for their health and their community. Actions taken: Project members wrote a letter to Department of Environment, with proposals for the establishment of a recycling centre for waste cooking oil either by the government or any private company. They wrote an opinion page to the press regarding the problems of using used cooking oil, thus voicing their concerns about the improper disposal of waste cooking oil and suggestions for proper waste cooking oil disposal. Project members contacted radio producers to conduct open discussion on how waste cooking oil should be disposed of. Project members also produced prototype brochure for the Ministry of Health for distributing to the public (to educate the public on health hazards of using waste cooking oil in food, on alternatives to cooking oil and cooking methods, on environmental effects of improper disposal of waste cooking oil and proper disposal tips of waste cooking oil).

COMMUNITY PROBLEM SOLVING PROJECT

Figure 3. Brochure made by the students to promote awareness of waste cooking oil in Brunei.