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Recover used vegetable oil it is a duty but not a foregone conclusion, there are those who take care of it by profession, those who know it should be done and try to make their contribution. And who does not know yet why a oil is said to be exhausted. If it is also vegetable, the mystery is even deeper. Let's start immediately by clarifying that waste vegetable oil can cause damage to the environment and its inhabitants, including us, if not disposed of properly. This is why it is important to talk about how to recover used vegetable oil.
All operations aimed at recycling waste oils concern lubricating oil or used vegetable oil and their purpose is to obtain regenerated oils to be reintroduced on the market. This is a specific sector of waste recycling, which developed once we became aware that the waste oils released into nature cause significant environmental damage. Today, and for a few years, in truth, we have been able to avoid them, by collecting these oils at special ecological islands or specialized companies, of which we will also see a virtuous example.
Exhausted vegetable oil
Waste oil can be of three types, all of which can possibly be recovered because they are certainly harmful. There are Clear oils coming from industries, the Dark oils which derive mainly from machines and therefore contain metals and combustion and oxidized residues and then our soluble, exhausted vegetable oil for frying.
To recover used vegetable oil there are practices that do not coincide with those used for other types of oil, not always: for each category it requires the use of different methods of collection and disposal.
In the case of used vegetable oil, due to frying it is oxidized and absorbs pollutants from the carbonization of food residues.
In this way its structure changes, the oil floats on the water of the sewers making it harmful to the environment. Recover used vegetable oil it means recovering it for industrial use, for the production of lubricants, for example, bio-diesel and soaps.
Disposal of other used oils
The light Oils and Dark Oils I mentioned are only partially biodegradable and poured into the sewers reduce the oxygen available for fish and algae. If we burn them, their combustion generates emissions and residues that are harmful to the environment, so it pollutes anyway. A way must be found to recover exhausted oil even for these non-vegetable types.
The Clear oils coming from industries can be regenerated through purification processes such as filtering and / or centrifuge. In the case of the Dark oils, like engine oil, the situation is more difficult. They are full of heavy metals and other pollutants so when you proceed even just for their withdrawal and disposal, it is necessary to use watertight containers, closing them inside with the utmost care not to mix them with other liquids.
It is not always possible to recover exhausted oil: based on the quality characteristics of the oil, we can consider whether to proceed with: Regeneration, Combustion, Treatment, Thermal destruction. For used vegetable oil we can speak of regeneration, this happens fortunately in many cases.
Why recover used vegetable oil
Not recover used vegetable oil but throwing it in the sink means putting it in the sewer system allowing it to reach the purification plants that will suffer serious damage due to high economic costs thanks to our gesture. And environmental. Not recover used vegetable oil and making it mix with the liquid in a body of water means creating environmental disaster.
I speak of disaster because a liter of oil it is able to form a polluting film the size of a football field which is very dangerous because it reduces oxygenation. The water becomes no longer drinkable, in this case, and always for a liter of oil we speak of a million liters of water.
Let's think about how much we consume in a day and therefore how many people we remove drinking water. If theexhausted oil not recovered it is dispersed in the soil, it prevents the flora from taking on nutrients with terrible consequences on the entire food chain and on our health.
Recovering used vegetable oil: regulations
The European Community decided to regulate the elimination and reuse of oils as early as 1975, but in Italy the first formalization came in 1982 when the Compulsory Consortium of Used Oils, the Coou. Since that moment we have witnessed the first steps of this green action in the Bel Paese, limited to recycling of lubricating oils.
After 13 years, with the Legislative Decree 95/1995, finally there are regulations that establish competences, authorizations and methods for carrying out the collection and disposal of used oils. This tiring process is not finished, it took another four years to get into the merits of the techniques to be used and to fix the parameters regarding the elimination of oils and their correct destination.
The Ronchi decree of 1997, not the well-known one on the privatization of water, has come to establish that all used oils, and emulsions, must be considered hazardous waste and treated accordingly. And there'Used vegetable oil? Also.
After the Ronchi decree, and the important step forward that it decrees, the National Compulsory Consortium for the collection and treatment of used vegetable and animal oils and fats, the Conoe, really active since 2001. It brings together associations of collectors (ANCO), regenerators (Anirog and Aroe), producers (Confcommercio, Confartigianato, Coldiretti, CNA, Federalberghi, Fipe and Una-Confindustria).
It is a non-profit organization but which still remains alive and develops thanks to the voluntary contribution of collection and regeneration companies, does not have the mandatory recycling fee by the producers of edible oil required by law.
We are not yet in optimal conditions, indeed, it does not seem to enter our heads that recover used vegetable oil not only does it allow us to avoid environmental damage, but it also gives our community significant economic benefits.
For example, through some treatment and recycling processes we can obtain high quality products: vegetable lubricants for agricultural machinery, methyl ester for biodiesel, glycerin for saponification, fuel for energy recovery. But also, eco-friendly lubricants for cars. Recover used vegetable oil has a double benefit: it avoids harm and gives benefits.
A virtuous example: Bio-Com
In the sector for the collection, transport and storage of used vegetable oil, frying and / or cooking, there is a company that has been dealing with it for years and has a lot to tell. There Bio-Com. It is undoubtedly one of the most experienced and active in the area. In fact it can boast collection points in production activities of all kinds or almost.
We have to look for the missing category, it is a challenge. Bio-com it has in fact reached hotels and restaurants, pubs and pizzerias, pastry shops, bakeries and canteens. Not only that, he also thought of occasions such as festivals and smaller but important realities for the sector. See for example fritterie and kebabs. In all these activities, Bio-Com provides the free waste oil service.
This company not only has this sector to deal with because it carries out the disposal and the recovery of all types of waste but it certainly wants to be considered a company specializing in used vegetable oils. It is obviously registered with the National mandatory consortium for the collection and treatment of used vegetable and animal oils and fats that we first met, started from restaurants and canteens, and then gradually extended its action on the national territory where possible.
How Bio-Com works
At no cost to the user, Bio-Com makes withdrawals throughout Italy 24 hours a day, knocks on the door of those who want to do them recover used vegetable oil and… he recovers it. It seems easy and in part it is thanks to the advanced technologies it has chosen to use, also to ensure that its business is carried out in full respect of the environment. Otherwise it would be a big contradiction.
Bio-com would never fall into this trap, also because it has been operating in the sector for three generations and has never been satisfied with the goals achieved, it has always wanted to broaden its scope of intervention. Over the years he has thus met and stimulated the desire for recover used vegetable oil in various types of customers. He immediately had the awareness and intelligence, and the ability to create business from what most people consider a "waste".
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