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Wigan gets creative with green energy


It may not seem like the most obvious way of creating green energy, but residents of Wigan Borough are now able to create carbon neutral electricity to power UK homes and businesses – all by recycling their used domestic cooking oil. The cooking oil needs to be brought to a Household Waste Recycling Centre in an appropriate container (eg plastic ). Residents can easily recycle that container on site.

The new scheme, implemented by Wigan Council in partnership with its contractor FCC Environment, sees tanks placed at the Chanters, Slag Lane and Kirkless Household Waste Recycling Centres for residents to recycle their waste kitchen oil. This forms part of a bid by the council to reduce the amount of household waste sent to landfill.

When disposed of down drains, used cooking oil causes blockages which totals a £15 million bill for water companies each year. However, if disposed of at local Household Waste Recycling Centres, the oil is collected by eco-firm Living Fuels, who recover used kitchen cooking oil through a natural process involving no chemicals, into a clean, green bioliquid, LF100. This bioliquid is then used in Living Fuels’ renewable energy facilities to provide clean, green electricity to the National Grid. Reusing household cooking oil in this way is proven to be the most environmentally friendly reuse for waste kitchen oil.

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.”

This new recycling service is for waste domestic cooking oil only: trade waste is not accepted at any of the Household Waste Recycling Centres in Wigan Borough.

FCC Environment is one of the leading operators of household waste recycling centres for local authorities in the UK. Gordon Fergus, Head of Commercial Development at FCC Environment, said: “As an operator we are always seeking to extend the ways that members of the public who visit the recycling centres can recycle the materials that they bring to us. Recovering the energy value from used cooking oil in this way represents another big tick for sustainably managing waste.”

To find your nearest household waste recycling centre, please