McDonalds to update washing machines for biofuel production

German appliance manufacturer Miele is updating the washing machines it hosts at 1,300 McDonald’s restaurants across the UK to pull oil from used mops, towels and cleaning cloths to recycle into biofuel for the fast food giant’s delivery fleet.

The washing machines would be fitted with modern grease filters, newer hoses, more efficient silicone door seals and lower temperate settings over 12 months, edie reported on 14 April.

Miele claimed updating the machines would boost McDonald’s annual biofuel production by 20% and minimise the risk of fatbergs – masses of floating waste in sewers formed by non-biodegradable solid matter combining together – developing in waterways around McDonald’s stores.

“Miele continues to assist us with our washing requirements to make our grease recovery process more effective,” McDonald’s building services consultant Dave Holden said.

McDonald’s had been using closed-loop biodiesel made from its own grease to fuel its UK delivery fleet since 2007, edie said. Similar schemes were underway in most of the company’s international markets.

Across Europe, around 80% of the company’s waste grease by volume was reprocessed into biofuel last year, equivalent to 28% of the fuel used annually across its road fleet, edie added.

Processing recycled cooking oil into biofuels for road transport was also being practiced by food manufacturer United Biscuits and restaurant chains TGI Friday’s and Carluccio’s.