The Municipality of Rethymno and the Renewable and Sustainable Energy Systems Lab of the Technical University of Crete signed -on the 6th of May 2014- a protocol of agreement for the development of a sustainable collection and recycling system of UCO.


This pilot project, which applies the recommendations and good practices identified in the frame of the IEE project RecOil, which is co-funded by the European Commission will test different approaches in two stages:

  1. Small scale collection of UCO in a school complex to be transformed to biodiesel at the collection point using a small scale autonomous unit for biodiesel transformation for educational and research purposes as well as motivation and behavior change of the school community (students, family, teachers).
  2. UCO collection from 5-6 collection points in the city centre, easily accessed by all citizens. The UCO will be transferred to the mainland to selected biodiesel producer for its transformation to biodiesel.


The pilot project includes:


> An integrated communication plan, to motivate and involve all citizens through targeted awareness activities.

> Demonstration and educational activities at the city’s schools.

> Quality control and assessment of the different phases and aspects of the pilot project’s implementation.


During the press conference that followed, the Mayor of Rethymno, Giorgis Marinakis highlighted the potential economic, environmental and energy benefits for the municipality. He expressed his hope that the implementation of the pilot project will raise awareness concerning the proper disposal of UCO and will help the efforts for efficient sewage treatment. He mentioned the numerous problems created in the past by UCOs inadequate disposal at the city’s sewage system, especially in the old town and stressed out the importance of converting this problematic waste into biodiesel.




Professor Theocharis Tsoutsos referred to the importance of recycling UCO as it t is highly toxic waste and can result in harmful environmental effects. He referred to the lack of awareness among citizens and the legislative barriers for UCO collection which lead most consumers to pour it directly to the sink. On the other hand, biodiesel is a highly biodegradable renewable fuel and represents a solution to oil dependence in transport sector. It is a much better lubricant than diesel, extending the engine’s life and it provides significant reductions in CO2 emissions.


Professor Tsoutsos mentioned that the Renewable and Sustainable Energy Systems Laboratory will undertake the set up, operation and management of the pilot UCO collection system and will provide the Municipality with technical advice and regular quality testing; also with educational materials and contribution to large scale communication activities to inform and motivate students and all citizens. Finally the Renewable and Sustainable Energy Systems Laboratory will control the sustainability of the systems and will provide the Municipality with concrete guidance.


Source: TUC