Optimising the collection of used cooking oil

Basic Information

Mobility solution ID

12.8

Started

City

Graz

Summary

Potentially hazardous waste oil from the catering industry and private households is processed to provide a cleaner fuel for the city’s public transport bus fleet.

Implementing sustainable mobility

The Okodrive scheme focused on the improvement and extension of the system for collecting used cooking oil and its conversion from hazardous waste into low-emission biodiesel.

The objective within CIVITAS TRENDSETTER was to investigate how awareness-raising campaigns could double the volume of oil collected from households and restaurants for use in the city’s bus and taxi fleets.

A special information bus was designed for use at specific locations and events, staffed by trained mobility consultants.

Progress

Three campaigns were carried out:

  • Restaurants in Graz that had not previously participated in the cooking oil collection were visited and provided with information.
  • Leaflets about opportunities for recycling cooking oil were disseminated on public buses, where passengers were also able to obtain containers for collecting used oil. Taxi drivers were also trained to provide their customers with information about sustainable mobility in general, and the recycling of cooking oil in particular.
  • A campaign was targeted at 2,000 residents in selected apartment blocks, who were given leaflets about the scheme shortly before the collection bus visited their neighbourhood. The leaflets also contained information about public transportation, free tickets, and car-sharing opportunities.

The waste oil was collected free of charge from restaurants, and from households by bus, at district authority collection points, or at fire stations. It was sold to the local energy company as raw material for the production of biodiesel, for use in the public transport fleet.

Outcomes

Knowledge of the collection system and the amount of collected oil increased, although the volume of oil collected from households did not double within the project period.

  • More than 250 restaurants participated in the project, saving about EUR 0.30 per kg on disposal costs).
  • 180 tons of used cooking oil from restaurants was collected, which is about 45 percent of the estimated potential of 400 tons per year.
  • 80 tons of used cooking oil was collected from private households, about 16 percent of the estimated potential of 500 tons.
  • Jobs were created in collecting used cooking oil from restaurants.
  • Around EUR 30,000 were saved from the cost of maintaining the sewerage system and wastewater treatment.

The provision of mobility consultancy services in combination with the collection system proved too expensive and was discontinued.

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