Disposing Cooking Oil Correctly From Your Business
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Find out more about disposing cooking oil correctly from your business. This article looks at how to dispose of large amounts of oil in the most environmentally friendly way possible.
Disposing Of Used Cooking Oil
Every year, the incorrect disposal of used cooking oils costs local councils thousands of pounds. The oils will block drains and cause all varieties of environmental issues. It is common for UK households to consistently fail in disposing of their used oil safely.
When it comes to food-related businesses in the UK, they have a legal obligation to handle their waste cooking oil with care. If businesses do not succeed in the proper disposal of oils, then they can receive huge fines. In some more severe cases, the business may be forced to close permanently or have an enforced cessation of trading under the Food Safety Act (FSA) 1990.
How do I dispose of a large amount of cooking oil?
How can I dispose of my oil in the most environmentally friendly way possible?
For businesses who want to take a more environmentally conscious approach to their oil disposal, the only real option is recycling.
In order for a business to recycle used cooking oil, they must work alongside an establishment that will collect their used oil and either take it somewhere to be recycled or just recycle the substance themselves.
Professionals who provide used cooking oil recycling services will take the oil to a facility where through a process named anaerobic digestion, the oil will be broken down. Once the process is finished, the oil will be converted into a substance named biogas.
This can then be used for generating electricity, heating water, and powering cars. Used cooking oils can also be filtered and processed into biodiesel fuel.
This burns much cleaner than regular diesel fuel. You can also find cooking oils regularly used in animal feed.
Can I dump my used cooking oils in my garden?
Under no circumstances should you ever dump your used cooking oil outside or in your garden. Even if you simply dump your cooking oil in the grass, the oil will always find its way into a sewer system somehow.
This oil will then assist in causing clogs and other pipe issues. Of course, dumping your excess waste oil outdoors is absolutely terrible for wildlife. It can not only be harmful to animals that could consume the oil, but it can also kill off any greenery located around where the oil was dumped.
Can I pour cooking oil down the sink or toilet?
Another place you should absolutely never pour your used cooking oil is down any sort of drain. Especially sinks and toilets. When oil is mixed with water, it will solidify.
This is the process that leads to so many clogs in pipes around the country. If the oil you pour down your sink reaches the sewer, then it can end up causing clogs that will then result in local councils having to pay thousands of pounds in damage repairs.
Food service businesses are legally required to take all possible actions in order to ensure that all the used cooking oil they use is not simply washed down the drain.
In commercial kitchens, you will commonly find grease traps. Tools that are specifically designed to filter the grease and oil from water that is about to be poured down the sink.
Any dishes that contain leftover or waste oil should also be washed in sinks with these tools so that any oil is caught in the grease trap. It is important for commercial kitchens to ensure that their grease traps are regularly cleaned and maintained so that they can effectively filter grease from water.
Can we use boiling water to help?
This is essentially a myth, and the short answer is no. Pouring boiling hot water down your sink or drain will only produce a very short term effect for blocked sinks.
All that will happen is that the oil or fat that has been broken up by the boiling water will then solidify again further down the drain, or within the local sewer system.
If a sink on your premises becomes blocked through the use of cooking oils or fats, then the best possible solution is to remove the pipework from under the sink.
The pipework can then be wiped and any solidified oils can be removed and disposed of in the bin.
Do I dispose of olive oil differently?
Olive oil should be treated exactly the same as vegetable oil or any other kind of cooking oil. Olive oil should never be washed down the drain or simply thrown away as you would with other waste.
For food service establishments, olive oil should be put in storage containers, just as is done with other cooking oils. The oil can then be collected and recycled at a later date.
Food Safety Act 1990
The FSA 1990 lays out all the guidelines from the Food Standards Agency on how to handle and dispose of used cooking oils. Businesses are legally required to adhere to these guidelines. Local authorities have the ability to inspect the business's premises. If they deem that the business is not following the guidelines that have been laid out in the Food Safety Act 1990, then the business can be seriously fined and even have been permanently closed.
Finding A Registered Waste Carrier
All businesses need to take into consideration the disposal and collection of their used cooking oils. It is the responsibility of the waste oil producer to find and hire an Environment Agency Registered cooking oil disposal company.
This is a legal requirement for all commercial kitchens, and it must be adhered to. Once a business has found a waste carrier that they can trust and use regularly, then the carrier is legally required to provide you with a waste transfer note.
This is done to help with the tracking and tracing of waste oil. The oil can be tracked all the way from the company that produced the oil, to the eventual recycling of the oil.
All businesses are legally required to hold onto all records involving waste oil collections for a minimum of six years.
The Legal Storage of Used Cooking Oil
There are all kinds of requirements for businesses when it comes to the storing of used cooking oils correctly and legally on site. A business may keep used cooking oils onsite for a limited time until a registered waste carrier can collect them.
Businesses that produce waste cooking oil are required to ensure that they have a designated storage tank onsite that can hold all their excess waste cooking oil. The tank must be able to hold oil without any spillages, and a registered waste oil handling company must empty the tank at a later date.
The incorrect storage of used cooking oils on a business' premises can lead to not only foul odours but not being in regulation with food hygiene standards.
If you work in the catering industry, there is a good chance that you require waste oil collection. Infinity Oils offer waste cooking Oil Collection in Glasgow, Edinburgh, Perth, Dundee and throughout Scotland.