East Sussex residents have been praised this week, for embracing a pioneering way to reduce the country’s dependence on fossil fuels and upping their green energy quota – all by recycling used cooking oil.
Implemented by East Sussex County Council and Brighton & Hove City Council, in partnership with Veolia Environmental Services and eco-firm Living Fuels, waste oil recycling was cooked up in a bid to divert used cooking oil away from drains in the most sustainable manner possible.
When poured down drains, waste oil solidifies, causing blockages and damage which costs the UK an average of £15 million per year to repair. If sent to landfill oil can leak into local watercourses and harm wildlife.
However, the scheme, which after a trial period saw tanks rolled out to all 14 East Sussex household waste recycling centres in October 2011, has seen residents already recycle enough waste oil to create renewable electricity to make over 1 million cups of tea.
Once the on site tanks are full, the used cooking oil is collected by Living Fuels and taken to its recovery facility where the used cooking oil is naturally settled and filtered, without the use of chemicals or heat, into a clean, environmentally friendly bioliquid called LF100.This bioliquid is used to generate carbon neutral electricity for the National Grid during times of unexpected power demand. Just one full tank can provide enough carbon neutral electricity to power the average UK home for an entire year.
Rob Murphy, Living Fuels’ Operations Director said of the scheme: “Used cooking oil may not seem like the most obvious choice for recycling, however just one litre of used cooking oil can provide enough carbon neutral electricity make 240 cups of tea, run a power saving light bulb for 225 hours or a Nintendo Wii for 9.5 days. We would like to thank residents for their positive efforts in recycling used cooking oil thus far, and look forward to a continuing positive relationship.”
Allan Key, General Manager of Veolia Environmental Services South Downs continued: “This is a fantastic way for people to make good use of their used cooking oil. I am pleased that this system is working well and operating for the benefit of the residents of East Sussex and Brighton & Hove.”
Tanks can be found at all 14 of East Sussex’s household waste recycling centres. To find your nearest used cooking oil drop off point, please visit www.livingfuels.co.uk, or to find out more about East Sussex County Council’s waste management targets, please visit http://www.eastsussex.gov.uk/environment/rubbishandrecycling/managingwaste/default.htm