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Published: Monday, 8/4/2008

Butter to biodiesel, Ohio State Fair goes for the green


COLUMBUS - Butter cows and other wondrous sculptures carved from the dairy product will get more use after they're done being displayed at the Ohio State Fair.

All 2,500 pounds of butter will become biodiesel fuel through a project at Mount Vernon Nazarene University. It's part of a new green initiative to use the fair's recyclables or biodegradables elsewhere.

The 155th annual fair opened Wednesday at the fairgrounds in Columbus.

In another effort, gnawed-on corn cobs, leftover sandwich buns, and other uneaten food at the fair's Taste of Ohio building are being hauled to a compost pile in South Charleston, about 40 miles southwest of Columbus. The waste was sent to a landfill in past years.

Fairgoers are being asked to separate their trash after meals and place them in marked bins. Written information about the initiative is being placed on each table.

As part of a state grant, restaurants at the fair are using biodegradable plates, cutlery, and cups. They're made out of corn starch or sugar cane, but look like high-quality paper plates.

The effort is part of a new recycling campaign by the Solid Waste Authority of Central Ohio. Funding for the project at the fair comes from a Department of Natural Resources grant.

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