Barking and Dagenham residents have been praised for their efforts towards a recycling scheme which sees carbon neutral electricity produced from used cooking oil.
A used cooking oil recycling tank has been in situ at the Frizlands Lane household waste recycling centre for four years, and in that time residents have recycled enough waste oil to create power for almost 2.5 million cups of tea.
Disposal of used cooking oil has long posed a problem for UK residents. When tipped down drains, oil causes waster companies an average £15 million each year in damages. When sent to landfill it fares no better, often leaking into watercourses and harming local wildlife.
However, in August 2008 Barking and Dagenham Council implemented a new scheme which sees waste oil collected by eco-firm Living Fuels and taken to its recovery facility. Once there the oil is recovered into a clean, green bioliquid called LF100 through a completely natural process without any need for chemicals or additives.
LF100 is then used in Living Fuels’ renewable energy facility to provide renewable electricity to the National Grid at times of unexpected power demand.
Councillor Mick McCarthy, Cabinet Member for Environment, Barking and Dagenham Council said of the scheme: “A lot of people don’t realise that cooking oil can cause damage if it’s poured down the drain or put in the bin. By collecting your oil and taking it to Frizlands Reuse and Recycling Centre, you are not only preventing this damage, but also helping to generate clean electricity. I’d urge everyone who uses large amounts of cooking oil to strongly consider recycling it.”
Just one litre of used cooking oil can provide the equivalent energy for 240 cups of tea, and one full tank can power a home for an entire year.
Rob Murphy, Living Fuels’ operations director said: ‘We would like to thank residents of Barking and Dagenham for their stellar work in recycling their oil. By doing so, they are not only ridding themselves of a difficult waste stream, but are helping to reduce the country’s dependency on fossil fuels.”