Cooperative mobility: business case for a UCO-to-biodiesel chain

Basic Information

Mobility solution ID

RET 5.2





A new “smart” Used Cooking Oil (UCO) collection system, which integrates a web-based monitoring platform to optimise the collection procedure, has been launched in Rethymno, including 30 new collection points. New collection bins with smart sensors have been installed and dedicated signage was designed to promote proper disposal.

Implementing sustainable mobility

Rethymno aims to define an operational scheme for implementing the full UCO-to-biodiesel chain. The measure includes the expansion and improvement of the existing used cooking oil (UCO) collection system and a small-scale pilot project demonstrating the transformation of UCO to biodiesel. New collection points will be introduced involving smart sensors at UCO collection containers, which will be monitored through a web-based platform.

The platform allows for real-time monitoring of the fulfilment level and optimisation of the collector drivers' routes, whilst also providing alerts for incidents (e.g. theft, vandalism, reallocation of containers). A small-scale autonomous production biodiesel unit will test the feasibility of a local business case and gauge whether UCO produced locally can also be transformed locally for the benefit of the local economy and environment.

The measure aims to:

  • expand and improve the existing UCO collection system.
  • increase the amount of UCO collected and to limit environmental pollution resulting from the uncontrolled discharge of UCO.
  • raise awareness and promote the use of alternative fuels.
  • study the feasibility of a local UCO to biodiesel business case.

The main planned actions are:

  • Expansion of the existing collection points network.
  • Improvement of the UCO collection system with the inclusion of “smart” containers with attached sensors and an online monitoring platform.
  • Promotional campaign targeted at schools, households and HORECA to encourage and increase UCO collection.
  • The setting up of a demonstration project of biodiesel production from UCO.


The activities implemented so far are:

  • Procurement of the smart sensors/bins and of a small-scale biodiesel production unit.
  • Location study and installation of 30 smart UCO containers in the municipality.
  • The new UCO collection system integrating smart sensors at UCO collection bins connected via GSM technology to a web-based platform is installed allowing real-time monitoring of oil filling level and the optimisation of the collector's routes.
  • Dedicated signage for the proper disposal of UCO designed and placed at the bins.
  • Development of a web-based platform for real-time monitoring and management of the UCO collection process. Continuous monitoring of the UCO collection.
  • MoU signed with the Ιntermunicipal Waste Management Enterprise to support the pilot development.
  • Call for tender for the assignment of a licensed UCO collector published.
  • Installation and pilot testing of the biodiesel production unit.
  • Informational and promotional events, info boards and materials have been developed to promote the UCO recycling rate amongst citizens; awareness/informational activities during European Mobility Week 2018 & 2019.
  • Engagement of schools, training and awareness campaign promoting UCO recycling.


The expected outcomes of the measure are:

  • Optimised UCO collection system through a web-based smart monitoring system.
  • 30 new smart UCO collection points.
  • A small-scale biodiesel production unit for demonstration.
  • Feasibility study for implementing the full UCO-to-biodiesel chain locally.
  • Increased rate of UCO recycling.
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