Making sure that the collection of used cooking oil (UCO) is easy for households, there is a lot of potential in increasing collection volumes. The demand for UCO is increasing, there are a number of ways in which it can be processed and reused. In times when food prices and prices for edible oils rise due to the fact that it is used as fuel and input to the chemical industry, reusing cooking oil makes a lot of sense.
UCO can be collected by grease-recycling companies who then refine it to become an input to the chemical technical industry, where it eventually is used as an input in the production of soap and detergents, rubber, plastic and paper chemicals.
Another area of use, which is extensively developed in Spain for example, is the conversion of UCO into biodiesel. UCO collectors in Spain offer restaurants and municipalities to pick up their UCO in order to sell it on to biodiesel production plants. Initially, restaurants and municipalities paid for the service, but the demand has now increased and the UCO has become attractive enough for the role client/service provider to be reversed in a lot of cases. Collectors in Spain now either pay restaurants or when it comes to UCO from households, simply receive the UCO from the municipality as payment (in exchange for installing necessary infrastructure such as containers and offering pick-up service etc.)
Biogas is also an area with potential. Collected and fed into biogas plants, the UCO contributes with a lot of energy to the decomposition process. In Sweden, where biogas is widely produced and demanded, different trials are in place for this kind of approach.