• Elevation Burger franchises must recycle olive oil

Elevation Burger, which serves 100-percent USDA-certified organic, grass-fed, free-range burgers, is taking another step toward reducing its carbon footprint by recycling the olive oil used at all of its 29 locations.

The franchised chain donates about five, 5-gallon barrels of olive oil per store, per month to individuals or groups that make biodiesel fuel, typically for personal vehicle use.

This recycling program has been in place in some stores since 2005, but is now a part of every store through the franchisee training program, said Hans Hess, founder and CEO of Elevation Burger, who said that biofuels derived from recycled cooking oil typically burn clean, have a low carbon content and don't produce carbon monoxide.

"This mandate is indicative of the discipline and focus of the company, making a restaurant that is both better for the body and better for the environment. It's a huge part of the Elevation Burger DNA and we are proud to participate," said Daniel Magnus, who owns two Elevation Burger locales in Westchester County, N.Y.

Elevation Burger offers many healthier alternatives to standard fast food choices, including gluten-free fresh fries cooked in heart-healthy olive oil, two variations of a veggie burger, non-processed 6-month aged cheddar cheese, cookies made with organic butter and eggs and hand-scooped milk shakes. It also focuses on being environmentally friendly, utilizing renewable, non-polluting materials and surfaces including bamboo flooring, compressed sorghum tabletops and low - or no- VOC paints and sealants.

Read more about sustainability.

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