Bridgend’s chip oil makes lovely cuppa


Cooking chips may not seem like an obvious way to make energy to brew your tea, but residents in Bridgend have been helping to power their homes, all by recycling their used cooking oil.

By dropping off oil at collection point located at each of the county’s four civic amenity and household recycling sites, residents are helping to divert used cooking oil from drains. Currently it costs UK water companies around £15 million each year to clear drains and sewers blocked by ‘fatbergs’, large masses of waste oil and grease that can only be broken down by hand.

However, in an innovative partnership between Bridgend Borough County Council, waste contractor May Gurney and eco-firm Living Fuels, used cooking oil is naturally settled and recovered into an environmentally friendly bioliquid, which is then used in Living Fuels’ renewable energy facilities to provide green electricity to the National Grid. Rob Murphy, Living Fuels’ Operations Director said of the scheme; “By recycling your used cooking oil at local household recycling sites, you are not only ridding yourselves of a sticky, messy waste but helping to lower the UK’s reliance on fossil fuel derived energy, therefore lowering carbon emissions and helping to save the planet. It’s such an easy way to become more sustainable.”

Since the installation of the tanks in 2010, residents have managed to collect enough used cooking oil to create power to brew almost three million cups of tea.

Councillor Phil White, Cabinet Member for Communities at Bridgend County Borough Council, said: "On behalf of the council, May Gurney and Living Fuels, I’d like to thank local residents for their efforts in helping us to make Bridgend County Borough a cleaner, greener place for people to live, work and visit.”

Adam Jones, contract manager for May Gurney, added: “The waste cooking oil facilities are an important element in our joint efforts to offer householders in Bridgend County Borough opportunities for recycling a wide range of materials, and serve to demonstrate the many different ways in which ordinary household waste can be recycled and reused in different forms.”