Prison service tries 'virtuous circle' of recycling

2 June 2009

03 June 2009 | Martha McKenzie-Minifie

The National Offender Management Service (NOMS) is trialling a scheme to turn its waste vegetable oil into bio-diesel.

Matthew McCabe, procurement category manager, food & catering for the Ministry of Justice (MoJ), said purchasing hopes the initiative will help the department cut carbon emissions.

An eight-week trial is under way at seven prisons and there are plans to extend it to 128 facilities by December.

Under the trial, supplier 3663 First for Foodservice delivers cooking oil to NOMS, which uses about 500,000 litres of oil annually to cook prisoner meals. Waste vegetable oil is then collected by Arrow Oils and sent to Convert2Green for recycling and conversion into bio-diesel. That bio-diesel is returned to 3663 depots to fuel trucks that deliver goods to prisons.

"The bio-fuel programme meets our requirement of traceable and safe disposal of used cooking oil, but a further benefit is the creation of a 'virtuous circle' of recycling," McCabe told

He said the MoJ was "paving the way to help meet the government's targets" as part of the Public Service Food Procurement Initiative [PSFPI] promoting food safety, sustainability and good practice. McCabe said the MoJ wanted to become an "exemplar" to other large public sector food buyers in their adoption and use of the PSFPI.


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