fryer_oil.pngBio-diesel, known as “chip shop fuel”, is mainly derived from cooking oil and is being used as a more environmentally friendly alternative to diesel. As a result, new and used cooking oil is increasingly being stolen from restaurants, pubs, takeaways and chippies.

Businesses cannot dispose of their used cooking oil by pouring it down the drain due to the environmental impact and must arrange for it to be taken away by a registered waste carrier. Failure to do so may result in a prosecution under the Food Safety Act 1990. Used oil is thus often stored in large tanks at the rear of their premises, which thieves are now targeting to sell on illegally.

Bio-diesel is sold on the black market at a profit by organised gangs and its theft also has a knock-on effect legitimate operators in this area. However, this fuel can damage modern diesel engines and can clog up vital components such as fuel injectors, fuel pumps and emission control devices.

 Please don’t be tempted, you could be left with a damaged car or van.

The price of new cooking oil has also risen due to demand, poor harvests and other external factors such as the war in Ukraine.

 Security can be improved with a few simple measures:

  • Check you are using a legitimate waste collection company. Be wary of bogus collectors touting for their business.
  • Check any ID and make sure they are legitimate before handing over your oil. The waste carrier should be a Registered Waste Carrier listed with the Environment Agency.
  • Inform and train your staff to be vigilant and challenge suspicious people on the premises.
  • If possible, store new and used oils indoors.
  • If you are using an external shed or container make sure it’s secure with a SBD approved hasp and staple with a heavy duty padlock – click for further information on shed security.
  • Where possible, restrict vehicle access to waste fuel areas with the introduction of bollards barriers or a security fence.
  • Look out for each other and be a good neighbour; talk with neighbouring businesses, share information and consider joining the local Pub Watch or Business Watch schemes

Further advice on managing waste cooking oil can be found at: UK Gov Website Link - Managing Your Waste An Overview