What better than to fuel vehicles and machinery in a recycling plant with recycled oil - even if it does smell like fish and chips.
That was the view of a Waiheke Island trust which yesterday officially launched its own biodiesel production facility.
The operation, run out of an old farm building at Ostend, will produce enough first class fuel to run the adjacent recycling depot's trucks, diggers and machinery.
John Stansfield, director of Cleanstream Ltd which is a subsidiary of the Waste Resources Trust, said the biodiesel production was the culmination of two years work and research.
Mr Stansfield said he had doubted if enough cooking oil was available from the island community of 8000 residents. But in a trial run eight tonnes of cooking oil was collected in less than four months from takeaways and restaurants on Waiheke.
The trust worked with Auckland University's Epics (Engineering projects in community service) team of final year students on the project.
The cooking oil is warmed, a catalyst added, the liquid shaken up to separate the glycerol from the biodiesel which is then washed, decanted and filtered to produce a high grade fuel which can be poured straight into engines.
Mr Stansfield said the plant would eventually process up to 30,000 litres of biodiesel a year and the glycerol by-product used to make soap.
"This will reduce the amount of fuel imported by the island, it will save money and create jobs."
Mr Stansfield said the process could help Pacific Island countries to cut their oil costs.
Similar techniques, but not requiring imported solvents, could see biodiesel blended with standard diesel to make it go further.
Representatives of the Niue Government had already visited Waiheke to inspect the plant, he said.
Auckland mayor Dick Hubbard opened the facility which he said would see less oil dumped back on the mainland.
Mr Hubbard said it was important to tackle climate change at the micro-level.
"They may be relatively small projects but in total are hugely significant."
It was also important that communities be offered carrots to become sustainable rather than sticks like excessive regulations.
The plant would set an example for Waiheke residents with respect to their attitudes to waste in other areas, he said.