Restaurants' behaviour, awareness, and willingness to submit waste cooking oil for biofuel production in Beijing

Using waste cooking oil for biofuel production is potentially beneficial to food safety and energy supply. However, the lack of waste cooking oil as a feedstock for biofuel production is one of the main reasons mentioned by the biofuel industry for the illegal reprocessing of cooking oil for secondary use. Thus, it is necessary to acquire information and knowledge about how to inspire restaurants to submit their wasted cooking oil to formal collectors such as biofuel manufacturers, rather than to informal channels. We carry out random sampling surveys on restaurants in Beijing's urban districts through internet questionnaires and face-to-face investigations to explore the behaviours, awareness, and willingness of restaurants to submit their waste cooking oil for biofuel production. The results show that the total quantity of waste cooking oil generated by restaurants is 90.14 thousand tonnes in 2016. Additionally, 24% of restaurants do not submit waste cooking oil to formal collectors, and approximately 21.63 thousand tonnes of waste cooking oil is unaccounted for. We find that mandatory regulations and economic incentives are the dominant factors that affect restaurants' disposal decisions. With a subsidy value of 4 yuan RMB/kg, all the restaurants are willing to submit waste cooking oil to formal collectors. Governmental departments should also consider building economic incentives, enhancing the mandatory regulation, designing different methods to manage different types of restaurants, and strengthening supervision and education to ensure the safe disposal of waste cooking oil and promote its use for biofuel production.