Devon's Chips to Help Power the Grid


A new scheme which sees used cooking oil recycled and then recovered into carbon-neutral electricity has been introduced at recycling centres across Devon.

Local residents are encouraged to deposit their used cooking oil in the collection tanks now in place at the 17 household waste recycling centres (HWRCs) operated by SITA UK*, on behalf of Devon County Council.

Renewable energy company Living Fuels will refine it through a totally natural, chemical-free, process to produce a patented bioliquid which in turn powers specially-designed engines to supply clean, green electricity to the National Grid. The enclosed Combined Heat & Power loop also means that any excess heat from the production of electricity is converted to energy through a heat exchanger.

Living Fuels Operations Director Rob Murphy explains; “Instead of the carbon-hungry nature of manufacturing biodiesel, the recovery of used cooking oil into our chemical-free bioliquid and subsequent electricity generation and capture of heat means a higher recovery of energy, making this process the most sustainable use of waste vegetable oil.”

Cabinet member for Environment and Communities, Roger Croad says; “Each tank installed at the recycling centres can hold 1,250 litres of used cooking oil and when full will produce enough electricity to power one average household for an entire year.”

Phil Rudin, Regional Manager for Devon & Cornwall at SITA UK says; “Just one litre of used cooking oil can make 240 cups of tea or power an energy-saving light bulb for 225 hours, so we hope local people will take advantage of this facility, even if they only have a relatively small amount to contribute.”

Notes to Editors:

Currently, water companies are spending an estimated £15 million per annum in clearing blocked drains, with 75% of call outs each year involving fats, oils and greases.

  • SITA UK does not run the recycling centres at Maclins Quarry, South Molton and Deepmoor, Torrington.


Contact details:
Mike Dobson, SITA UK +44 (0)7866 772349
Penny Reeve, Living Fuels +44 (0)115 853 2875