Gutter oil confusion no more


(Photo from Straits Times)

Not too long ago, images of men fishing oil out from sewages freaked Singaporeans out. “OMG, they’re making gutter oil!”, gasped the internet as the association with the gross recycled oil from China comes to mind.


Well, no more – NEA will now licence used cooking oil collectors from December 2016.

There is an estimated 50 used cooking oil collectors here and the licensing scheme will ensure these collectors meet waste collection standards – and also make sure that they’re not using the oil to re-fry your KFC dinner.

But what on earth can this used oil be good for? Mostly non-edible purposes; converting them into bio-diesel is one good example.

Biodiesel is renewable, clean-burning diesel replacement . It is made up of a long chain of fatty acids derived from vegetable oil or animal fats. Used pure or blended with diesel, it is compatible with diesel engines and has the following benefits:

  • less black smoke
  • less carcinogenic emissions
  • is biodegradable
  • non-toxic
  • non-flamable
  • help to reduce greenhouse gas emissions
  • does not compete with food crops for feedstock

Applications for the collection licence will start December first and collectors will have until the 1st of June 2017 to obtain the licence.

Collecting used cooking oil without a licence or engaging an unlicensed collector will each carry a maximum fine of $10,000, as stipulated in the Environmental Public Health (General Waste Collection) Regulations.

So the next time you see men dipping their tools into large holes. Relax – they’re only making biodiesel.



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