Rendering (really) is Recycling

If you follow NARA on social media (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn) or have visited our website before, you may recognize the phrase  “Rendering is Recycling”.

In honor of Earth Month, we’re exploring what that means, and why spreading the word on the sustainability benefits of rendering is paving the way to a ‘greener’ future.

Rendering probably isn’t the first thing that comes to mind when you think of recycling (or even sustainability for that matter) because renderers have been “silently” sustainable for so long.  Now we’re proudly and loudly spreading the word that “Rendering (really is) Recycling”!

According to Wikipedia, the definition of recycling is “the process of converting waste materials into new materials and objects,”, and defined  by Webster’s Dictionary as: to adapt to a new use”.

But what does “waste” really mean? Perhaps when you hear “waste” you think of “trash” or “garbage,” but we invite you to think of it instead as something that can be reclaimed and reused  –  that would be “wasted” if it wasn’t recycled.

Take food waste for example.  By rendering and repurposing the leftover meat (the parts of the animal most Americans prefer not to eat) that would otherwise be “wasted,” rendering is recycling by definition.  And also recovering food waste before it is really wasted, rotting and taking up precious landfill space.


Thanks to Rendering, The Future is Looking Green


NARA’s commitment to educating about the sustainability benefits of rendering increased in recent years with introduction of our new name as the North American Renderers Association representing renderers who “Reclaiming Resources, Sustainably.”  We embraced a fresh logo, a re-designed website, and new educational infographics, but we’re not the only organization dedicated to sustainability research and education by far.

For example, the National Biodiesel Board (NBB) truly “walks the talk” on the sustainable benefits of biodiesel for people and local communities, especially those with disadvantaged neighborhoods.  NBB recently released a new health benefits study that found “low-carbon fuel would decrease premature deaths, reduce cancer risk and alleviate asthma complications for thousands of Americans” if 100% biodiesel was used to power trucks, and other diesel engines in communities. The information from the study is here in this colorful one page infographic.

NARA partners with NBB to support greater use of green fuels like biodiesel and renewable diesel.  Animal fats produced from rendering, and the used cooking oil renderers collect from restaurants are cleaned are upcycled into these biofuels.  Biodiesel and renewable diesel improve the environment since they reduce carbon emissions by 74 percent (compared to petroleum-based diesel fuel).  Many diesel vehicles are hard to electrify, such as long-haul trucks, airplanes, and ocean ships.  Biodiesel and renewable diesel are part of the current and forward-thinking solution to climate change and cleaner air.

New research into the sustainability benefits of rendering is on the horizon for NARA too, and a peer reviewed journal article will be released soon about how agricultural rendering supports sustainability and helps livestock contribute more than food to the planet.

For these and all rendering news and updates, including when we post new blogs, be sure to follow NARA on social media (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn).

#HappyEarthMonth, and remember: “Rendering (really) is Recycling”!

To learn more about the sustainability benefits of rendering, visit

The North American Renderers Association (NARA) is an Equal Opportunity Employer. It does not discriminate in the terms and conditions of employment on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, or any other factor prohibited by law.

As a participant in USDA programs, we share the commitment to comply with all federal, state and local civil rights laws and those of the USDA. More about this commitment is available on the USDA website page here.