Oil recycling bank in Norwich

Norwich City Council and Anglian Water are encouraging residents to safely dispose of their cooking oil and fats at six new oil recycling banks in the local area.

The new initiative will help cut down on the illegal dumping of fats down the kitchen sink and elsewhere – which blocks pipes and drains.

The water company deals with 35,000 blockages a year with more than half caused by items like used fats, oils and grease.

The oil is collected regularly by specialists in waste oils and fats recycling - Bensons Products Limited, and taken to a processing plant where it is heated with steam before being settled and filtered to remove impurities such as food and water. It is then turned into biodiesel and used as the renewable element contained in the fuel we buy at the pump.

Councillor Keith Driver, portfolio holder for waste and recycling, said: “The oil banks are really easy to use. You just put your used cooled oil and fat into a plastic or glass bottle or jar and drop it into the recycling bin – it doesn’t matter if the glass smashes, it will all be filtered out in the process. What’s more all the bottles get recycled.

"Recycling oil in this way not only reduces blockages, but produces an alternative energy source which is cleaner and greener.”

Paul Gibbs, Anglian Water's Director of Water Recycling, said: "We welcome this initiative by Norwich City Council. Avoidable blockages are a huge problem, expensive and bad for the environment. They can also be costly for homeowners if they end up with a blockage on their private sewer. That’s why our Keep It Clear campaign aims to get people to dispose of cooking fats responsibly. With this new solution from the council, rather than blocking up drains, your used cooking oil could be turned into biofuel and used again – it’s a win-win and makes perfect sense.”

The six new oil banks have been installed alongside existing mini recycling points at Waitrose (Eaton Centre), Enfield Road (near the shops), Sainsburys (Queens road), Morrisons (Albion way), Tuckswood shops (Tuckswood centre) and St Saviours car park (St Saviours lane).

Vegetable and cooking oil, lard, roasting fats, BBQ fats, grill fats, margarine and butter can all be placed in the banks. The oil banks are sealed to ensure no leaks and all the material goes into a secondary container which is lifted out and replaced regularly.