‘Fats to Fuels’
Fat Vat scheme set for wider roll out thanks to cash
A successful recycling project in Bradford is to be expanded into new areas across the city as the bio-fuel potential of waste cooking oil is harnessed and sewers are protected.
The ‘Fats to Fuels’ initiative is being led by the Karmand Community Centre, in Bradford Moor, with Yorkshire Water supporting and granting £10,000 to help gradually expand the project to cover 6,000 homes in the area.
The scheme involves asking local residents to collect their waste cooking oil in tubs, known as ‘fat vats’, rather than typically pouring the greasy oils, such as ghee, down the kitchen sink.
These tubs, once full, are then collected from residents’ doorsteps, with the cooking oil sold to renewable energy companies to refine and turn into carbon neutral bio fuel.
Just one litre of the cooking oils can generate enough electricity to make 240 cups of tea or power a flat-screen television for three hours.
Mohammed Shakeel, Project Manager at the Karmand Community Centre, explained more about the project and what the new funding will allow them to achieve.
“Thanks to the £10,000 grant from Yorkshire Water we are now able to expand this project to cover more of the Bradford Moor area,” he said.
“We hope to eventually collect as much as 1,000 litres of cooking oil a week from thousands of local houses which is really exciting.
“More than anything else though, it’s great to see local people engaging with the project and understanding the benefits it can bring to the community as a whole.”
Thanks to the scheme, there has been an almost total elimination of sewer blockages in the area with less waste cooking oil - which can solidify into giant 'fatbergs' once in the sewer system - being poured down sinks.
The scheme began in March last year and currently has 85 households taking part, but could now gradually expand to 6,000 homes.
Duncan Woodhead, Network Protection Technician at Yorkshire Water, said: “We partnered with the Karmand Community centre on this ‘Fats to Fuels’ project to help educate people on the damage cooking oils can cause to sewers and to reduce sewer blockages. It’s great to now expand it and get more residents taking part in this community initiative.”
In 2013, Yorkshire Water invested £2.3m on the sewer system in Bradford Moor including work on sewer blockages.
But through this initiative, the firm hopes to reduce this spend to help keep customers’ bills as low as possible.
Mr Woodhead added: “Since launching the scheme in 2014, it has already been a great success with 1,000 litres of cooking oil collected and diverted from the sewers.
“A knock on benefit has also been the revenue opportunities created for the Karmand Community Centre to sell the cooking oils to renewable energy companies.”
Historically, Bradford Moor was identified by Yorkshire Water as a sewer blockage hotspot due to 85 blockages taking place between 2011 and 2014.
To celebrate the expansion of the ‘Fats to Fuels’ scheme, a fun day was held at the Karmand centre last month where hundreds of local residents were joined by Bradford West MP Imran Hussain and the Lord Mayor of Bradford, Cllr Joanne Dodds.