The citizens of west Scotland have been getting used to a novel way of paying for their bus fares over the past three years - with used oil from their chip pans. Under a highly innovative scheme launched by bus operator Stagecoach, customers have been encouraged to fill a container with their used cooking oil in return for discounted bus travel.
By doing so, they are literally oiling the wheels of the public transport system, since the redundant oil is converted to bio-diesel and used to power Stagecoach West Scotland's fleet of eight bio-buses. The buses were converted from diesel to run on the bio-fuel, which is made from used cooking oil and other food industry by-products, all of which are from sustainable sources. Under the scheme, cooking oils are collected by East Ayrshire Council's recycling depot and forwarded to Argent Energy to be converted to biofuel.
Stagecoach created a dedicated website for the project, www.thebiobus.com, where customers can read about the scheme and even order a container to be delivered to collect their own waste oil.