Dot's chip oil troubles

DOT Paddick thought she had well and truly had her chips when she tried to go green - because no-one could help her recycle her frying oil.Despite recycling being all the rage, the only advice she could find was to pour it on the ground and chuck sand on it, or convert it into fuel for her car.

By Richard Cornwell

DOT Paddick thought she had well and truly had her chips when she tried to go green - because no-one could help her recycle her frying oil.

Despite recycling being all the rage, the only advice she could find was to pour it on the ground and chuck sand on it, or convert it into fuel for her car.

Mrs Paddick, a Felixstowe town and district councillor said: “I wasn't going to get very far in my car on two litres.

“The only other alternative I was given was to pour the oil on the ground and then cover it with sand, which would soak it up, and then bag up the sand and throw it out with my rubbish, but that was hardly recycling the stuff anyway - which is what I wanted to do.”

Mrs Paddick was keen to support initiatives to recycle as much as she could but worried what householders might do with chip pan cooking oil if they could not dispose of it in a proper way.

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She took her two litre bottles to the household waste site in Carr Road, Felixstowe, but was told it could not be left there and was given details of a private company, but they were more used to dealing with fish and chip shops which generate hundreds of litres of oil and were not interested in her two litres.

A spokesman for Suffolk Coastal council said: “Locally or indeed nationally there are no facilities to recycle the small amounts of cooking fat produced by homes, although there are services that will recycle the large amounts produced by restaurants or factories.

“Our advice to our residents is do not pour old cooking fat down their sinks or drains. They can either let it solidify and put it in with their normal domestic waste, or mix it with nuts or seeds and produce homemade cakes that garden birds will enjoy.”

What do you do with your chip pan oil? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail EveningStarLetters@eveningstar.co.uk

FACTFILE: Out of the frying pan . . .

There is a growing industry for bio-diesel made from reclaimed chip oil to use in diesel cars - it gives off less carbon emissions but vehicles smell of French fries when stuck in traffic jams.

Ministry of Defence officials are considering using recycled cooking oil to fuel military vehicles in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Some people mix in seeds and nuts and allow the oil to solidify in plastic containers and then use it as wild bird feed cakes.

Gardeners have found a couple of uses - weatherproofing fences and sheds, and soaking newspaper with it to use as a layer in the compost bin when creating mulch.

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