A new machine that can process waste cooking oils offers a reward for those who recycle in Fethiye.

One of the biggest challenges for waste management is how to encourage people to recycle. This is a particular problem in Fethiye where the communal bin system requires willing volunteers to separate and recycle their waste.

Sadly, it is just too easy to drop a bag of waste in the bin without a second thought.

Waste cooking oils are another waste problem too.

Million of litres of oil are thrown into the waste or poured down the sink each year leading to pollution and blocked drains. It is estimated that for every litre of oil poured down the sink it costs 30 pence (36 cents) to clear up the drains.

Fethiye Council thinks it has found a way to start to reverse this problem with the help of environment group TEMA and an innovative company called Baytom.

Baytom have supplied a machine that will process used cooking oil and in return it can provide a reward.

The new machine, a first for Fethiye, was installed outside the Fethiye House near the harbour last week and the mayor’s wife was the first person to try it out.

The machine collects used vegetable oils such as those from domestic kitchens and it separates out the solids and oils for further refinement.

The oil can then be converted into bio diesel and used by the Council in its vehicles fleet or sold on to other companies.

When the machine finishes it can provide a payment or add points to a magnetic card that can be used to provide many types of goods, rewards or discounts.

A spokesperson from the Council said they hoped this new machine will help increase the amount of waste cooking oil recycled in Fethiye and contribute to a cleaner environment.

The machines are in use in other cities around Turkey. Samsun Council sells the oils it collects on to a third party and rewards recyclers with a proportion of the income it raises. Kocaeli Council offers discounts on local water and waste tax for every litre of oil recycled.