On the 22nd April 2015, the Renewable and Sustainable Energy Systems Laboratory of the Technical University of Crete (ReSEL TUC) organised a widely open public event about “Used Cooking Oil recycling – From waste to resource”, at the Conservatory of Fine Arts in Rethymno.The event was supported by the Municipality of Rethymno, with the involvement of the Departments of Education - Lifelong Learning -Volunteering, Waste Management and Environment, Planning and Development and the Union of students’ parents of the Municipality of Rethymno. Main speakers were the Mayor of Rethymno, members of the ReSEL-TUC team and the RecOil consortium.


During the event, citizens of Rethymno were informed about:


> The value of UCO recycling for biodiesel production and the benefits to the community

> Examples and best practices from other European Countries

> The results of the pilot UCO recycling project in the Municipality of Rethymno and the newly established UCO collection system at public spaces; also about hygiene and security issues of collection points


The event also attended key local stakeholders, e.g. the Vice Governor for Spatial Planning and Environment (Region of Crete) Nikolaos Kalogeris, the Vice Governor Maria Lioni, the Vice Mayor of Education Georgios Georgalis, the Vice Mayor of Waste Management Dimitrios Leledakis, the Vice Mayor of Culture and Tourism Pepi Mpirliraki, employees of Rethymno’s Municipality and of neighbour Municipalities, representatives of citizens’ associations, school directors, teachers and pupils.


In his welcome speech, Giorgis Marinakis, Mayor of Rethymno, highlighted the great interest of the Municipality in the continuation of the Used Cooking Oil (UCO) Recycling System in the Municipality of Rethymno which was set up due to the RecOil initiative. He pointed out that the pilot project in the Municipality offered an efficient educational process involving the whole family. Professor Theocharis Tsoutsos, introduced the audience in the main scope of RecOil, the main barriers from the national legislation and the role of the Technical University of Crete in the development and realization of the pilot action. Georgios Georgalis, Vice Mayor of Education, expressed the intention to expand the pilot action in all 83 schools of the Municipality, at September 2015. Matina Voltiraki – Xatzaki, chairman of the Union of students’ parents in the Municipality of Rethymno, thanked RecOil and TUC members for all training and motivating activities performed at schools and challenged all citizens to take part to the UCO recycling efforts in the city; she also stressed that apart the huge environmental benefit there is an additional remunerative benefit for schools.



Picture 1: RecOil schools Award Ceremony



Orlando Paraiba (Energy and Environment Agency of Arrábida), RecOil project coordinator, presented the RecOil main achievements and results. Pablo Quero García (Energy Agency Province of Cádiz), Filippo Giglio (Local Energy Agency Province of Cosenza) and Orlando Paraiba presented the initiatives undertaken to improve the whole UCO to biodiesel chain and to promote UCO recycling in their regions, in Spain, Italy and Portugal. Valeria Magnolfi (European Biomass Industry Association) made a brief introduction in the existing legislative framework concerning UCO collection and biodiesel production in Europe.


Stavroula Tournaki (ReSEL-TUC), informed about the harmful impacts of the UCO improper disposal in the environment, sewage system and waste water treatment plant and the opportunities arising from its recycling and transformation to biodiesel. She presented all components of the pilot project in Rethymno, the great contribution of schools’ students/teachers/directors and focused on practical issues like what oil can be recycled, how to collect and dispose it, where the public collection points are, etc.


The event ended with a Ceremony, where the 12 schools joining the RecOil UCO recycling pilot project were awarded for their active participation and their contribution to the protection of the environment.


Picture 2: RecOil consortium visit at the public collection points in Rethymno



Source: ReSEL-TUC