What was previously seen as a useless waste product that needed careful disposal is now an important asset that can be recycled and re-used. In fact, many fish and chip shops, restaurants and takeaway businesses now have arrangements in place not only for the supply of cooking oil for their products, but the its removal at competitive prices.
Used cooking oil can be taken away for processing and turned into bio-diesel, which can be used in suitably equipped cars, vans and lorries. In fact, virtually all of the bus fleet in some towns are now entirely bio-diesel, and it’s not unusual for the lorries picking up and delivering waste cooking oil to be powered by something that was previously heating up a chip supper.
However, you can’t just (ugh) dive into your waste oil. There’s a few things you need to know before the process can begin. Yes, it’s bureaucracy, but it’s there for the safety of the environment and of those collecting and handling the waste.
Firstly, as a controlled waste producer working in the catering business, you are required by law to arrange for the disposal of your used oil with a licensed and registered carrier. It’s not something you can do by driving it yourself to the local municipal dump! You must also ensure you receive a valid waste transfer note as a receipt for your disposal. This is important as there are very significant fines for non-compliance.
Cutting corners and using illicit and unregistered collectors is a one-way street to trouble with the law, and it’s not worth the trouble.
It’s also simple to arrange a collection. You can either use the same containers in which the oil was first delivered (but make sure they’re clearly marked as waste), or your collector will provide suitable containers for you. The best part of recycling your cooking oil into bio-diesel is that fuel oil prices are currently so high, you get amazing prices for your waste. Not only that, you are making a genuine contribution to the fight against emissions – every gallon of bio-diesel used is a gallon that hasn’t had to be pumped out of the ground.
It’s worthwhile, and makes great business sense.
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