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Chip fat to fuel dustcarts

PUBLISHED: 21:04 19 June 2006 | UPDATED: 11:03 22 October 2010

The fish and chips that fuel thousands of visitors to Yarmouth's marketplace will soon also be fuelling the council's vehicles too, under a pioneering energy-saving scheme to turn cooking fat into biodiesel.

The fish and chips that fuel thousands of visitors to Yarmouth's marketplace will soon also be fuelling the council's vehicles too, under a pioneering energy-saving scheme to turn cooking fat into biodiesel.

And it will be the dustcarts that collect, among other things the empty chip wrappers, that will be the first to benefit as Yarmouth Borough Council's GYB Services converts its 35 refuse vehicles to the green fuel.

The cooking fat will be collected by Yarmouth chemical firm J&H Bunn from commercial caterers in the town and then be converted into biodiesel, which will then be sold back to the council as new fuel.

Deputy chief executive Mark Barrow said today that the scheme showed that the council was prepared to “practice what we preach”.

“We currently have a fuel procurement policy with Bunns, buying in bulk to keep down the price,” he said. “GYB Services has a large fleet of vehicles and the two companies are ideally suited to form a partnership promoting the use of biodiesel.

“This is about practising what we preach, having an environmentally-sound energy policy. We have a corporate social responsibility, this demonstrates how seriously we take it.”

Mr Barrow said that converting the dustcarts and vans from diesel to biodiesel did not cost much and could be done easily when each vehicle was serviced.

The fuel costs little to make and sells for 10p less than standard diesel.

Chip stalls and other catering outlets supplying the cooking fat will also benefit, with Bunns offering a free collection of oil that would normally cost a restaurant £15 per barrel to dispose of.

Mr Barrow said that it was hoped the scheme, when it is introduced in the next few months, would help cut the amount of waste oil that gets dumped illegally.

Bunns started selling horse feed in 1816, but since the 1960s has specialised in producing fertiliser from its factory on the banks of the River Yare. It is now diversifying into biofuel.

Biodiesel is a processed fuel derived from cooking fat but which can be readily used in diesel engines, unlike unprocessed waste vegetable oils, for which vehicles need considerable modification.


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