Yorkshire residents have been praised by eco-firm Living Fuels this week, for helping to generate green electricity to make over 10 million cups of tea, all by recycling their used cooking oil.
Waste cooking oil is traditionally a difficult waste to dispose of, with a recent poll of homeowners admitting that pouring it down the drain is their preferred method of disposal. However, not only does getting rid of used oil this way cause damage to wildlife and watercourses, it also costs UK taxpayers an average of £15 million each year in bills for blocked drains.
However, there is another way to recycle old oil; Barnsley, Doncaster and Rotherham borough councils, under the joint waste plan and in partnership with Waste Recycling Group (WRG) and Living Fuels, offer a waste cooking oil recycling service, at no cost to the taxpayer, which helps rid residents of a difficult waste and at the same time save the environment.
The scheme, which began in 2008, sees used cooking oil tanks placed at 14 household waste recycling centres, for residents to deposit their used cooking oil. Once collected, the oil is taken to Living Fuels’ state-of-the-art recovery facility in Norfolk and there recovered 100% naturally into clean, green electricity that is fed into the National Grid at times of unexpected power demand.
Just one litre of oil can produce enough green electricity to power an energy saving light bulb for 225 hours, run a plasma computer for 50 hours or a DVD player for 440 hours.
Living Fuels Operations Director Rob Murphy said of the scheme: “It’s brilliant to see such enthusiasm for used cooking oil recycling, and residents should all give themselves a huge pat on the back. It’s great to think that such a difficult waste product is being turned into something so beneficial for the environment.”
Cllr Roy Miller, cabinet spokesperson for Development, Environment and Culture (Operational) at Barnsley Council, said: “Our residents have really taken to recycling in whatever form it’s available, and they have my sincere thanks for their efforts and commitment they have shown. The inclusion of cooking oil recycling in all four of our waste recycling centres is another way in which we are continuing to enhance our reputation as a town with strong green credentials.”
Gordon Fergus, WRG’s Group Commercial Manager, said: “As a leading operator of HWRCs in the UK, providing effective recycling solutions to the public through their local authorities, we’re always keen to extend the range of materials that can be productively and economically recycled.”