Beyond the biofrontier: Balancing competing uses of the biomass resource
Analysis of the current development of household UCO collection systems in the EU
Used cooking oil (UCO) is a low carbon feedstock for biodiesel production in the EU, but this resource is not fully utilized. While collection of UCO from restaurants and hotels is relatively widespread, only a few European countries have developed effective collection systems for UCO produced in homes.
By far the most popular way of organizing household UCO collection is through collection points located across the country. The successful launching of a household UCO collection system is pre-determined by a well-designed informational and promotional campaign. People have to be well informed about both the necessity and the possibility to recycle their UCO.
This report estimates that currently less than 50,000 tonnes of UCO gets collected per year from households across Europe. At the same time, potential resources should be at the level of 800,000 – 900,000 tonnes per year. This results in around 800,000 tonnes of UCO still to capture. However, as household collection has to be organized from scratch in the majority of EU countries, capturing all the resource will take time. We estimate that until 2030, maximally around 200,000 tonnes per year could be collected in the case of active and continuous support from Member States. This is a very optimistic scenario that would require uninterrupted efforts to develop household UCO collection systems from today through 2030.