Yesterday I spotted a truck outside my local pub, branded with the name Olleco. I’d never heard of them, but they helpfully have their entire business model on the side of their vehicles: ‘Olleco supply cooking oil, collect used cooking oil, and convert to biodiesel.’
I thought it sounded like a nice example of the circular economy at work, so I looked them up. And indeed, they were finalists in the recent Circular Economy Awards.
Olleco bring supply and collection together to create a cost-effective system. The truck that drops off new cooking oil also picks up the used oil, taking responsibility for the waste created by the company’s product and treating it as a resource. It’s taken back to a depot and processed into biofuels. Food waste is also collected from food factories and used to make biogas.
Recycling cooking oil for fuel is nothing new, and Olleco have actually been doing it for years under different names. They rebranded a couple of years ago as the last pieces of their circular vision came together:
“The opening of our Liverpool biodiesel plant in 2012 enabled us to complete our virtuous cycle of supply, collect and conversion and offer total resource recovery solutions to our customers. Completing this virtuous cycle moves us from just waste services to a being a leader in resource recovery. We extract value at every stage and we believe that nothing should ever be wasted and everything has value — it’s just a matter of knowing what and where to look for it.”