Council cooks up recycling idea


Residents in Bedfordshire can now recycle their used cooking oil, as part of Bedfordshire County Council’s commitment to encourage more recycling.

All five Household Waste Recycling Centres across the county now include cooking oil collection tanks, which can hold 1000 litres of oil – enough to produce sufficient electricity to power one average household for a whole year.

Just one litre (about a third of what you’d find in your average chip pan) can be converted into a new green fuel called LF100 and can produce enough clean electricity to make the equivalent of 240 cups of tea.

Residents can use the collection tanks at Bedford, Ampthill, Leighton Buzzard, Dunstable and Biggleswade recycling centres to dispose of their cooking oil free of charge. The oil is then recycled to produce a green fuel which powers electricity generators feeding in to the National Grid.

Councils across the country have been told they must reduce the amount of materials, such as oil, sent to landfill, and if green targets are not met, they will face fines.

Councillor Tom Wootton, Bedfordshire County Council Cabinet Member for Waste, said: "Householders in Bedfordshire can be proud they are playing a practical part in building Britain’s renewable energy capacity, whilst also protecting the local environment.

“Recycling used cooking oil rather than throwing it down the drain could eventually lead to lower water bills from your local water company. The oil also contains significant potential energy which is wasted when it is just thrown away.”

Rob Murphy, The operations director of Living Fuels, the company responsible for installing the new collection tanks, said: “Every time another collection service is launched, it’s an opportunity to get over the message that used cooking oil causes major environmental damage when poured down the sink. It costs water companies literally millions to clear blockages caused in sewers by the build-up of oils.”

The Household Waste Recycling site opening times are as follows:

May to August 9am – 7pm
September to April 9am – 5pm