Roads may provide a second, money-spinning way for restaurants to dispose of their old cooking oils responsibly without illegally clogging up the nation's drains.
Aggregate Industries has discovered that used chip fat can be used in place of bitumen to make road construction greener and told Caterer's sister publication, Contract Journal,](http://www.contractjournal.com/Articles/2009/07/17/69885/chip-fat-to-be-used-in-road-building.html) that it planned to patent its invention. The UK uses 1.25 million tonnes of bitumen for road building each year.
Used oils from local pubs, restaurants and fish and chip shops were already being collected by up to 20,000 motorists by mid-2008. They have been converting the oils into cheap biofuel to power their cars following a relaxation in the law allowing people to make up to 2,500 litres a year for their own use.
An estimated 35 companies were also refining recycled cooking oil commercially by May 2008.
Drain and sewer blockages cost local authorities up to £15m a year to clean up and, in 2007, some three-quarters of the 200,000 blockages recorded were blamed on fat, oil and grease from restaurants.
By Angela Frewin
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