An innovative scheme that will see cooking oil recycled and then used for energy has been introduced across Merseyside.
Collection tanks have been fitted at the region’s 14 Household Waste Recycling Centres (HWRCs) where local residents can bring their used and leftover cooking oil, rather than pouring it down the sink.
Merseyside Waste Disposal Authority (MWDA) and its contractor Veolia Environmental Services have teamed up with green energy firm Living Fuels to implement the scheme. Living Fuels will collect the waste oil and refine it through a totally natural process to produce a patented bioliquid. This in turn will power specially-designed engines to supply safe, clean, renewable electricity to the National Grid.
Councillor Joe De’Asha, Chairperson of MWDA, said: “Millions of pounds are being tipped down the drain every year as a direct result of pouring cooking oil into the sink. As well as removing this waste product from the environment we’re also helping to create energy so residents can be doubly pleased they’re helping clean up Merseyside.”
Holding 1,250 litres, each tank that has been installed at the Recycling Centres will produce enough electricity to power one average household for an entire year. Just one litre of used cooking oil (about one-third of what you’d find in an average chip pan) can power a dishwasher for three hours, make 240 cups of tea or power an energy-saving light bulb for 225 hours.
Water companies in the UK currently spend £15m a year clearing used cooking oil from their sewers and 75% of the 200,000 drain clearance call-outs every year involve used cooking oil.
Rob Murphy, Operations Director for Living Fuels, said: “Since we started out three years ago we’ve collected enough waste oil to power 5,000 UK homes for a year. But we can still do much, much more so I’m delighted that environmentally-conscious Merseyside residents can now recycle their used cooking oil and help affect climate change.”
The containers have been installed on site and are available for householders to use immediately. Plastic bottle containers will be provided on every site so householders can also recycle these after disposing of the oil.
Paul Smyth, Contract Manager Veolia ES Merseyside and Halton, said: “We’re seeking to provide the residents of Merseyside with an environmentally safe disposal point for cooking oil. The scheme will stop the oil getting into drainage systems, saving the cost to us and the environment and at the same time providing a fuel to generate power.”
MWDA Chairperson Councillor Joe De’Asha, continued: “We’re always looking to get the most out of our Recycling Centres and this is an innovative use of a material we’ve never recycled before so we’re keen to see how popular it will be.”
Merseyside’s 14 Household Waste Recycling Centres are situated throughout the region and accept all sorts of household materials for recycling, from batteries, cans and cardboard, through to garden clippings, glass bottles, furniture, soil, timber, electrical items and white goods, plus much more. Further details can be found at www.merseysidewda.gov.uk or by calling MWDA on 0151 255 1444.