Residents throughout Gloucestershire are being praised this week, for helping to create enough clean, green, carbon neutral electricity to power 16 homes for a year each – all by recycling their used cooking oil.
The scheme, implemented by Gloucester County Council in partnership with waste contractor May Gurney in early 2011, sees waste cooking oil tanks placed at each of the county’s five household waste recycling centres. Residents are encouraged to dispose of their used cooking oil at their local site in a bid to lower recycling rates for the county, whilst at the same time diverting what is traditionally a very difficult waste stream from sewers.
Councillor Stan Waddington, Cabinet Champion for Waste said of the scheme: “This is an excellent scheme and an example of how we can recover something useful from our waste. I’m delighted that residents are making the most of this opportunity.”
When tipped down the drain, used cooking oil solidifies and builds up to create blockages which cost the UK an estimated £15 million each year. Disposal to landfill can pollute waterways and harm wildlife.
However once collected from the sites, Living Fuels recovers the used cooking oil, through a 100% natural process that uses no chemicals, into a clean, green bioliquid which is in turn fed through specially designed engines and into the National Grid at times of crisis or unexpected power demand.
Just one litre of used cooking oil can provide enough energy to produce 240 cups of tea, or power a PC for 50 hours.
Living Fuels’ Operations director, Rob Murphy said: ‘We are proud to be able to divert used cooking oil from sewers and into the National Grid as a source of carbon neutral, renewable energy – helping the country to reduce its dependency on fossil fuels. We’d like to thank residents of Gloucestershire for their great effort in recycling their used cooking oil, and look forward to a successful continued partnership with both Gloucester County Council and May Gurney.”