Waste vegetable oil is highly POLLUTING for the environment. Its combustion generates toxic substances and its contact with water, if it is thrown into domestic sewers, creates a micro barrier that reduces or prevents the absorption of nutrients and oxygen by flora and fauna.
Nowadays, the production of waste is estimated at about 280.000 tonnes per year, of which 60.000 tones come directly from catering.
It is therefore appropriate to carry out a SPECIFIC COLLECTION of waste oils, thus aiming at recycling them through the separate waste collection in special waste collection stations, which are present in most of urban centres.
The first step in the disposal of this waste is to deposit it in special containers and deliver them to the authorised collecting companies registered to the C.O.N.O.E. (National Compulsory Consortium for the collection and treatment of vegetable oils and fats and animal waste); a Consortium that controls and monitors the disposal of waste oils and fats for environmental purposes, as well as trying to reduce their dispersion.
The second step concerns recycling, which allows not only to reduce pollution but also to save a large part of waste for a new INDUSTRIAL REUSE, in multiple processes and applications:
- as a renewable energy source in co-generation systems;
- converted into bio-lubricants for agricultural or nautical machinery;
- as cosmetic products, industrial soaps, inks, tanning greases, car waxes.
In recent years, the main market for the reuse of this waste has been the production of BIODIESEL: a completely biodegradable, non-toxic vegetable fuel, that can be used as a transport fuel to replace of mix fossil fuels, thus reducing the contribution of CO2 emissions in the transport sector. This form of recycling, together with the growth of the circular economy, also promotes the transition towards a low-emission economy, in favour of the production of renewable sources.
In the last years, the average economic value generated by the C.O.N.O.E has always been higher than EUR 3 million each year, with important positive effects in economic and employment terms.
It is estimated that, in the collection and processing into biodiesel of all waste vegetable oils produced each year in Italy, the annual potential saving can be around 790.000 tons of C02eq and 282.000 cubic meters of water.