The Scottich Borders Council, overseeing the region of Scottish Borders in Southeast Scotland, has launched a campaign to collect used cooking oil (UCO) and grease from households for recycling into biofuel.

Announced on 20 June, the Council said UCO recycling services would be available at all seven recycling centres in the Borders and that the programme had the backing of Scottish Water.

The collected oil would be cleaned, filtered and processed into biofuel, with any household UCO accepted in non-glass containers left in special yellow collection bins at the recycling centres.

“This service means members of the public can play their part and recycle another material when visiting any of our recycling centres, helping to reduce pollution as well as costs to the council, and allowing material to be reused,” said councillor Gordon Edgar, executive member for roads and infrastructure.

“It will also prevent oils getting into the water systems, which can cause blockages and even pollution into rivers, streams and beaches,” he added.

Previously, the only alternative for disposing household UCO in the Borders was to throw it into general waste disposal, which increased the amount of waste sent to landfills and caused more pollution, in addition to costing more to the taxpayer.

Last year, Scottish Water launched a campaign educating the public about the harmful effects of pouring UCO down the kitchen sinks and toilets.

“We are delighted to support this campaign which will encourage people across the Borders to recycle their leftover cooking oils,” said Scottish Water regional corporate affairs manager, Scott Fraser.

“Every year we respond to around 35,000 blocked sewers, most of which could be avoided if we all remembered to avoid pouring fats, oils and grease down the sink,” Fraser lamented.