Sustainability

Hampshire to recycle cooking oil into electricity

Hampshire residents recycle cooking oil

Residents of Hampshire County Council can now recycle their old cooking oil at household waste recycling centres (HWRCs) across the area to help fuel a green electricity project.

The new partnership between Hampshire County Council, cooking oil recyclers, Living Fuels and the council’s waste contractors, Hopkins Recycling Ltd, has seen receptacles for collecting used cooking oil implemented a 23 of the county’s 24 household waste recycling centres (HWRCs), as well as one provided by Southampton City Council, after a trial in June proved successful.

Once collected, the oil is taken to Living Fuels’ recovery facility in Hockwold cum Wilton, Norfolk, where it is subject to ‘natural gravitational settling’ before being filtered into a bioliquid called LF100. This is then used at combined heat and power facilities owned by sister company, Living Power, to provide ‘carbon neutral’ energy to the National Grid at times of ‘unexpected power demand’.

The new service will form part of Hampshire County Council’s bid to further increase recycling in the county and divert more household waste away from landfill. Last year, the County Council dealt with 592,810 tonnes of household waste and reportedly diverted over 91 per cent away from landfill.

Councillor Mel Kendal, Deputy Leader and Executive Member for Environment at Hampshire County Council, welcomed the new partnership, saying: “Our aspiration is for zero landfill and we are getting close. Hampshire’s record to date is excellent, with over 91 per cent of household waste either being recycled or being used to generate energy.

“Hampshire residents are excellent recyclers and, thanks to Hopkins Recycling, our contractors who have instigated this trial with the help of Living Fuels, it is great news that we can offer them a way to dispose of used cooking oil conveniently and safely, and that this waste can be recycled to generate green energy.”

According to Living Fuels, one litre of recovered cooking oil can power an energy-saving light bulb for 225 hours, while one full tank will provide enough equivalent electricity to power the average home for an entire year.

Living Fuels’ Operations Director, Rob Murphy, added: “The recovery of waste vegetable 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 way of recycling used cooking oil.”

Only waste from a household source will be accepted, and a maximum of five litres per household per month is permitted.

Cooking oil can be recycled at all HWRCs in Hampshire, except New Alresford.

Read more about Living Fuels’ LF100 biofuel.