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UK project gets the fat out of VAT

By Rachel England - 22 Feb 2011 9:25:0 GMT
UK project gets the fat out of VAT

An novel new project in Birmingham sees residents hitting back at the recent VAT rise by turning waste fat into vehicle fuel.

The 'Grease Lightening' scheme is working with a disadvantaged Birmingham community to encourage them to recycle their fat, oil and grease instead of pouring it down drains which can block sewers and cause negative environmental consequences.

The project, run by CSV Environment and part of its parent charity Community Service Volunteers, targets individuals as well as schools, faith groups and business owners in a bid to get people to take their waste fat and oil to a local recycling point, where it's used for local community vehicles.

Collecting 2,500 litres of waste cooking oil can run a school bus for one year, and for a considerably lower cost than using regular fuel.

Severn Trent Water has supported the scheme since its launch in 2010, and already it's seen a 35 per cent reduction in sewer blockages.

Julian Stanton, Project Leader of Grease Lightening, says: ''I am delighted that the local community have been filling up their containers with waste cooking oil to be recycled to bio fuel. This has enabled community vehicles and school buses to run at a fraction of the cost of regular fuel. We are hoping that this volunteer-led scheme will be self sufficient in the Birmingham community and so Grease Lightening can eventually launch in another area.''

The Grease Lightening scheme has recently been awarded over £300,000 by the Big Lottery Fund for development over the next three years.

As a wider aim, the project hopes to educate the local community on the benefits of recycling in general and to provide information and guidance on properly disposing of other materials that frequently end up in landfill.

Turning waste into vehicle fuel is a concept growing in popularity, with the practice being especially common in developing countries where petrol prices are beyond most people’s means and serious waste issues continue to grow.