Suffolk residents urged to recycle oil for charity


An innovative new charity drive which encourages residents to recycle their used cooking oil into cash for charity whilst at the same time increasing the area’s green credentials will start in July.

In a tri-party scheme between Suffolk County Council, waste contractor FCC Environment and eco-firm Living Fuels, residents are being encouraged to recycle their used cooking oil at any one of the county’s 11 household waste recycling centres (HWRCs) in a bid to divert waste from drains. A donation for each litre collected between July and September will go to St John Ambulance.

Water companies in the UK currently spend £15 million a year clearing used cooking oil from their drains and 75% of the 200,000 drain clearance call outs each year can be attributed to waste cooking oil clogging up drains and pipes.

Simon Hale, FCC Environment Regional Operations Manager, said: “This is a really important initiative that supports Suffolk’s Greenest County aspiration and will bring significant sustainability benefits, firstly through the avoidance of potential environmental damage and secondly by the generation of valuable renewable energy. We’re also confident that the people of Suffolk are up for the challenge of helping such a great charity!”

Once collected, the used cooking oil is taken to Living Fuels’ state-of-the-art recovery facility in Thetford and recovered naturally into an environmentally friendly bioliquid, LF100. This bioliquid is then used in the company’s renewable energy facilities to generate carbon neutral electricity for the National Grid, helping to lower the UK’s reliance on fossil fuel derived energy generation.

Rob Murphy, Living Fuels’ Operations Director said of the scheme: “By recycling their used cooking oil at a local household waste recycling centre, residents really are getting rid of a sticky, messy waste in the most sustainable way possible. Being able to help such a worthy cause while helping to save the environment just provides more reason to save up that cooking oil after making your evening meal.”

Just one litre of used cooking oil can provide enough renewable electricity to make 240 cups of tea, and one full recycling tank can power the average home for an entire year.

As the nation’s leading first aid charity, St John Ambulance believes that nobody should die because they needed first aid and didn’t get it. Yet every year, up to 140,000* people die in situations where first aid could have given them a chance to live. St John Ambulance teaches people first aid so that they can be the difference. Volunteers also work closely within the community, offering their first aid knowledge and their time to provide essential life saving skills at local events.

St John Ambulance’s Central District Manager Tony Curd said of the drive: ‘We’re very grateful to be the chosen charity to benefit from this excellent scheme. Any money raised will help us work towards our main objective, which is to try and encourage more people to learn first aid, so they can be the difference between a life lost and a life saved.’

Suffolk’s HWRCs are managed by FCC Environment on behalf of Suffolk County Council and they collectively reused or recycled over 81% of all waste during 2012, and have over one million visitors per year across the 11 sites. Full details of the recycling centres can be found at