Sustainability at USM

Fryer Oil Recycling

USM also recycles used vegetable oil!

Used fryer oil is collected by Maine Standard Bio-fuels and recycled into environmentally friendly bio-diesel. The oil is collected on the Gorham and Portland campuses and brought to the processing plant, which is located right in Portland!

What is bio-diesel?

  • Bio-diesel is a diesel fuel alternative made entirely from vegetable and animal fats such as canola oil, bacon grease, or olive oil. 
  • Through various processing techniques, bio-diesel is made to be used directly with any diesel engine, no retrofits or extra parts are needed!

Biofuel Beaker

How does recycling used oil help USM?

  • Recycling used cooking oil is essential to meeting USM's waste reduction goals.
  • By removing used oil from the waste stream, USM saves money on waste hauling and keeps a valuable commodity out of the trash.
  • Having access to sustainable and renewable energy sources such as biofuel is important to USM as displayed by our investments in on-campus green energy including geothermal heating and cooling, solar photovoltaic, and solar hot water systems.
  • Working with M.S.B helps improve the local economy and the local environment.
  • Providing a needed resource supports our neighbors using biofuel such as Oakhurst Dairy.
  • Working with local companies like Maine Standard Bio-fuels provides networking opportunities for students that can lead to research projects, internships, and careers.

Maine Standard BioFuel Logo

Why Maine Standard Bio-fuels?

  • M.S.B is locally owned and operated so used oil does not travel far to be processed or sold. M.S.B. also employs USM students and alums!
  • Everyone at M.S.B is focused on producing an environmentally friendly fuel to offset Maine’s use of foreign oil.
  • Everything at M.S.B is recycled: 
    • Any leftover food in the oil is filtered and given to a local pig farmer. 
    • The byproducts of the processing are utilized as specialized forms of fuel and biodegradable soaps. 
    • All paper and plastics are recycled plus bottle and can returns are donated to local charities.


by Joshua Keough, USM Environmental Science Student, Plant Technician  & Educational Outreach Associate at Maine Standard Bio-fuels: Visit the Maine Standard Bio-fuels Website here!