Somerset’s chip oil makes a lovely cuppa


Somerset’s cooking oil is to power the National Grid, with each litre recovered through the county’s recycling sites generating enough electricity to make 240 cups of tea.

After a successful introduction at four locations, Somerset Waste Partnership (SWP) and its recycling sites contractor, Viridor, are rolling out a cooking oil collection network of special tanks to all 18 recycling sites.

All the new tanks will be operational from Monday 5 March to divert as much as possible from costly landfill or clogging up the county’s drains.

Somerset’s old cooking oil will be used to generate clean, green electricity after being processed by Living Fuels, the UK’s premiere used cooking oil to renewable energy eco-firm.

Living Fuels Operations Director Rob Murphy said: “We are delighted to be working with SWP and Viridor, taking away a waste product to provide power for the UK. Somerset residents have been doing a great job of recycling oil; we look forward to collecting much more oil in future.”

He added that it has often been difficult to dispose of used cooking oil, whether sent to costly landfill, where it produces powerful greenhouse gases, or poured down the sink at a cost of around £15 million a year in blocked and damaged drains.

The chemical-free filtering and settling of Somerset’s cooking oil creates the bioliquid LF100 that is used in combined heat and power facilities. Living Fuels estimates that the three-litre contents of Somerset’s average chip fryer generates enough power to make 720 cups of tea.

SWP Managing Director Steve Read said: “This is an excellent low-carbon recycling route that avoids waste, environmental damage and extra costs while providing a new green fuel.”

For more details of cooking oil collections, visit