Waste cooking oil
Oil is one of the most commonly reported types of water pollution and causes nearly a quarter of all pollution incidents. Careless disposal of oil into drainage systems,onto land or to watercourses is not only an offence but can be harmful to river birds, fish and other wildlife. Although oil does break down in water it uses up vast amounts of oxygen in the process, hence removing oxygen that would otherwise have remained in the waterways for wildlife.
Because of the way oil spreads, even a small quantity can cause a lot of harm. It is estimated that UK caterers produce between 50 - 90 million litres of waste cooking oil each year and if this is not disposed of correctly the effects of oil pollution on the environment could be quite devastating.
The Environmental Protection Act 1990 places a Duty of Care on every industry to ensure "that all reasonable steps are taken to look after any waste you have and prevent its illegal disposal by others", this includes waste cooking oils and fats.
Eastex is a regional project funded by local authorities, the East of England Development Agency, Government Office for the East of England, the Environment Agency and Norfolk's Strategic Partnership (Norfolk County Council, May Gurney Ltd and Mott MacDonald Ltd).
Part of Eastex is The Essex Materials Exchange which actively exploits the principle that one company's waste is another's raw material. By automatically matching these parties via the internet, unwanted materials can be efficiently passed on or sourced - either once or as an ongoing arrangement. It delivers real financial savings for businesses, organisations and individuals and keeps potentially useful materials in circulation.