Used cooking oil brought to Norfolk’s recycling centres by residents has generated enough energy to power 100 homes for a year or brew nearly 30 million cups of tea.
In the five years since Norfolk County Council launched the scheme, thousands of litres of homeowners’ waste oil has been collected at the county’s recycling centres and turned into a fuel which is used to generate clean renewable electricity at a dedicated energy recovery centre at Hockwold-cum-Wilton near Thetford.
Cllr Bill Borrett, Cabinet Member for Environment and Waste at Norfolk County Council said: “I am amazed at how successful this scheme has been, it is another important element of Norfolk County Council’s policy to make Norfolk a cleaner greener county and I’d like to say a big thank you to all those residents who have helped make it such a success since we installed the first collection points five years ago.
“Over that time, their recycling efforts have stopped thousands of litres of old oil being tipped down our drains in Norfolk – something which can cause significant environmental problems from water contamination and drain blockages.
“And as well as helping to keep our environment clean, they are creating a valuable source of green energy which is being generated and used to power homes and businesses right here in Norfolk."
Used cooking oil can be taken to any of Norfolk’s 20 main recycling centres across the county. Once collected, the waste oil is taken to Living Fuels’ recovery facility at Hockwold, where it is settled and recovered without the use of chemicals or heat, into an environmentally friendly bioliquid – LF100. This is then used in the company’s renewable energy facilities to provide renewable electricity to UK homes and businesses.
Just one litre of old cooking oil, about one-third of what you’d find in an average chip pan, can power a dishwasher for three hours, make 240 cups of tea or power an energy-saving light bulb for 225 hours.
Living Fuels’ Operations Director, Rob Murphy, commented: “Since Living Fuels first began business from Norfolk in 2007 we’ve grown to become a national company, but we’re so happy to see that our home county is still doing so well when it comes to recycling used cooking oil, diverting a difficult waste stream away from drains, and creating carbon neutral electricity for the UK.”