Since 31 October 2004 waste cooking oil from catering premises can no longer be used as an ingredient in animal feed. Waste cooking oils from food manufacturing, and fresh or unused cooking oil, can continue to be used in animal feed.
This change has been introduced as a measure to safeguard animal health and the subsequent food chain under the Animal By-Products Regulation EC 1774/2002 (ABPR) and applies across Europe, including the UK. In most Member States the ban has applied since May 2002.
After 31 October 2004, anyone using waste cooking oil from catering premises as an animal-feed, as an ingredient in animal-feed, or who consigns their waste cooking oil to such animal feed operations commits an offence.
It is anticipated that the majority of catering premises will be able to continue to have their waste cooking oil taken away by their usual collectors. However, the collector will now be expected to supply the waste cooking oil to either the biodiesel producers as a raw material for transport fuel, to incinerators who will be able to use it in the generation of electricity, or for other uses such as in the olechemical industry.
The Government strongly supports the recovery of waste cooking oil for such purposes as it underpins its strategies in both reducing dependency upon landfill sites as a means of waste disposal and reducing the use of fossil fuels for energy generation.
If you produce waste cooking oil as part of your catering business, (for example as a chip shop or other takeaway outlet or restaurant), then you must ensure that it is stored properly, that none is allowed to spill and that it is collected by an authorised collector who will take your waste to an authorised site for recovery or disposal.
Waste cooking oil must not be poured down drains or sewers because this inevitably leads to blockages and odour or vermin problems and may also pollute watercourses leading to problems for wildlife. Such action could also result in potential prosecution. Nor should waste cooking oil be disposed of with the rest of the catering or kitchen waste because it may cause spillages leading to odour or pollution problems or waste contractors may refuse to remove it.
Waste cooking oil should not be taken to household recycling centres (also known as Civic Amenity sites or CA sites) for disposal in engine oil banks. CA sites are not for commercial waste and placing cooking oil into an oil bank will render the entire contents of the drums unsuitable for recycling.
Further advice on disposal will be available from your local authority.