One of the main objectives of RecOil Project is to gather information regarding the previous UCO collection systems and promotional campaigns carried out in each project partner’s countries: Portugal, Spain, Italy, Greece and Belgium. 44 systems have been collected (1 Belgian, 3 Spanish, 6 Greek, 9 Italian, 25 Portuguese) and then compared in order to identify the common aspects and the critical points of the previous UCO system chains. The common aspects to be highlighted are:

1. In all cases, with a few rare exceptions, local authorities or local agencies (i.e. waste or energy management companies) are the main promoters of the initiative. Their support is really important to involve citizens and improve their awareness.

2. The companies that collect the oil are also very frequently involved in the transport and transformation process (63% of the cases with response);

3. The most typical collection method is by far the establishment of public collection points in gathering places such as schools, supermarkets, parking lots, municipal buildings etc. (33 out of 44 templates reported this type of collection). Collection points are placed in easily reachable places (short distance is fundamental) that could attract large numbers of people. Schools are by far the most common place used to collect oil.



4. In the majority of cases Used Cooking Oil is delivered by citizens in bottles or containers provided by the implementing organizations (60% of the templates with response). The collection and delivery of the product must be as simple as possible. Special funnels can be supplied to facilitate the pouring of UCO into plastic bottles. Also promotional activities can be useful, as contest or rewards for citizens (e.g. local virgin olive oil in exchange for UCO). 



5. In the majority of cases, UCO is paid back in goods and services (57% of responses). When the oil is paid back in goods, these can be either the biodiesel itself (i.e. 1 litre of biodiesel per 7 litres of UCO, or 5% of the annual UCO collected) as well as cleaning agents and detergents. In several cases, the UCO is paid back in services, such as the organization of the collection and transport system, or the development of promotion material and the organization of promotion campaigns.

6. The main destination of the UCO collected is the production of biodiesel (88% of responses). In the majority of cases the biodiesel produced is sold to market (38%), and partially provided back to the promoting organizations to use it, for example, in the municipal truck fleets (14%).

7. In almost every cases, massive promotion through via multiple communication activities was developed: publishing the initiative on newspapers, using leaflets, brochures, posters, outdoor billboards, lettering on vehicles, TV programs, radio talk shows, websites and social media, the collecting container itself. Also a large engagement of local stakeholder is often promoted, for example, involving neighbours associations, consumers and user’s federations, NGOs, supermarkets, local waste management companies. In particular, the involvement of schools is really common: visits to school and workshops with teachers and mothers represent a very important moment of divulgation.



Critical factors

Also some critical points were identified from the information retrieved.

  • Hygiene maintenance (spills, leakage to the street);
  • Lack of awareness/promotion;
  • Distance of UCO collection point;
  • Contamination of UCO with mineral oils;
  • Contamination of UCO containers with urban wastes (e.g., plastic, glass, organic, etc.).
  • Amount of UCO collected might not be sufficient to satisfy the supply needs of biodiesel producers. 


 Analysis of previous experiences in UCO collection.

 Compilation of UCO collection promotional campaigns.

 Guidelines for UCO collection, transport and promotion campaigns based on previous experiences.


Source: ETA