How to Dispose of Cooking Oil

Cooking Oil

Cooking oil is a staple ingredient in most kitchens, but when it comes to disposing of it, many people are unsure of the proper way to do so. Improper disposal of cooking oil can cause serious damage to the environment, as well as to your plumbing system. In this article, we will discuss the best practices for disposing of cooking oil.

Do Not Pour Cooking Oil Down the Sink

Pouring waste cooking oil down the sink can cause plumbing and environmental issues, such as:

Clogging Pipes: Fat and oils can solidify in pipes and can block water flow. This can lead to fully blocked plumbing and may even lead to pipes needing to be replaced.

Damaging Pipes: If you pour hot oil down the sink, you can burn and erode any plastic piping that may be in your drain.

Smells bad: pouring used cooking oils and cooking fats down the sink can lead to unpleasant smells and odours in the plumbing system, due to decomposition.

Environmental issues: Fats and oils entering the water system can cause problems with the water treatment process. If these oils enter the water system without being fully treated they can caused harm to local plants and animal. Solidified oils can also form fat bergs in the local sewage system this can cause overflowing causing further environmental impacts.

Put simply pouring used cooking oil down the sink will lead to bad smells and blocked sinks in the home. Adding washing up liquid or boiling water will do nothing to help, so just do not pour cooking fat or any kind down the sink.

How to Dispose of Cooking Oil

Let the Oil Cool and Solidify

One of the easiest and most common ways to dispose of used cooking oil is to let it cool down and solidify before disposing of it in the general waste bin. Once the oil has cooled down, transfer it to a sealed container, such as a plastic bottle or jar. Allow it to cool and solidify before disposing of it in the trash. This method is safe and easy and prevents the used oil from damaging your plumbing system.

Recycle Old Cooking Oil

Some areas have recycling programs that accept used cooking oil. Check with your local council and local recycling centre to see if they accept old cooking oil. Recycled cooking oil can be used for a variety of purposes such as biodiesel fuel, renewable energy, animal feed, and even soap.

Use a Cooking Oil Disposal Service

If you are using a lot of cooking oil and need to dispose of large quantities it may be worth hiring a waste management company to dispose of the waste cooking oil. This is a very convenient way to dispose of cooking oils, with the waste cooking oil being collected and disposed for you. Please make sure the company you choose to dispose of your used cooking oils are a registered waste carrier and can supply you with a waste transfer note after job completion.

Reuse Cooking Oil

Instead of dispose of cooking oils reuse them. Once you have finished cooking with the oil, drain it from your frying pan or fryer and place the used cooking oil in a sealable plastic container or old jars. You can then reuse the oil for any other fried cooking.

Compost Small Amounts of Oil

If you have a home composting system, you can add small amounts of used cooking oil to your compost pile along with food waste to your compost bin. Cooking oil is a good source of carbon, which is important for a healthy compost pile. However, it is important to only add small quantities of oil to your compost pile, as too much can cause the pile to become too oily and difficult to manage.

What happens if I do not dispose of cooking oils correctly?

If you are a business working in the UK's food industry you are legally required to dispose of cooking oil and fat correctly. If are found not complying to the rules set out by the Food Safety Act 1990 you will face large fines and could lead to forced closure. Just make sure you follow proper procedures when it comes to oil disposal.

Can I Put Used Cooking Oil in a Skip?

No is the answer, waste cooking oil should never be put in a mixed waste skip. Leftover oil should be disposed of in the correct way as described above or disposed of by someone who is a licensed waste carrier. 

In conclusion, there are several proper ways to dispose of cooking oil. The most common method is to let the oil cool and solidify before disposing of it in the bin. However, using a reusing, recycling and composting are also effective methods. Proper disposal of cooking oil is not only important for the environment but also for the health and safety of your plumbing system.

Author: Spencer Murphy

Date: 4/28/2023

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