` City Offers Soap for Used Cooking Oil - Olive Oil Times

City Offers Soap for Used Cooking Oil

Jun. 12, 2012
Julie Butler

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Valencian city Vila-real wants its res­i­dents to swap their used veg­etable oil for soap made from recy­cled oil at a flea mar­ket in the town square at the end of the month.

Designed to raise aware­ness of the impor­tance of recy­cling the oil — rather than pour­ing it down the sink — the local gov­ern­ment ini­tia­tive includes giv­ing house­hold­ers fun­nels to help them save their oil in plas­tic bot­tles until tak­ing them to one of the city’s 20 col­lec­tion points.

The munic­i­pal­ity says about 2,000 liters of oil has been col­lected since a pro­mo­tion cam­paign started two months ago and has made pos­si­ble both pro­duc­tion of the soap cakes and 1,900 liters of biodiesel.

The city, with a pop­u­la­tion of more than 51,000 peo­ple, esti­mates it has also saved €4,800 ($6,000) in water treat­ment thanks to the reduced con­t­a­m­i­na­tion and helped res­i­dents avoid blocked drains. It says cook­ing oil is its worst urban pol­lu­tant.

Many sim­i­lar cam­paigns are tak­ing place around Spain to pro­mote edi­ble oil recy­cling schemes.


In Barcelona, one incen­tive for house­hold­ers who take their used oil to depots is a dis­count on their water bill. The grad­u­ated rebate reaches a max­i­mum of 14 per­cent if they do so 15 or more times a year.

With the finan­cial cri­sis bit­ing hard in Spain, in some munic­i­pal­i­ties there have been thefts of used cook­ing oil and there is a prob­lem with ille­gal col­lec­tors who charge restau­rants to take their used oil but do not recy­cle it, instead dump­ing it and caus­ing envi­ron­men­tal harm.

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