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Environmentally Friendly Ways To Dispose Of Cooking Oil

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  • 11-07-2022
Environmentally Friendly Ways To Dispose Of Cooking Oil

As a business owner in the food industry, you may ask: What Is The Most Environmentally Friendly Way To Dispose Of Cooking Oil? This article looks at the ways your business can dispose of cooking oil in a responsible way.

Understanding used cooking oil disposal methods will save you time and money repairing and unblocking your kitchen pipes. If you are throwing your waste cooking oil down the drain, this is the article for you as we reveal the best proper disposal.

Issues Disposing Of Oil

When poured down the kitchen drain, cooking oils can be incredibly viscous and combine with other liquid waste and solid waste.

The sewer systems beneath our homes consist of many substances and items that should not be there; cat litter, plastic bags and wet wipes are among the main things. As they combine after you pour vegetable oil down the sink, they create clumps of fatty waste - more commonly known as fatbergs.

Environmentally Friendly Way To Dispose Of Cooking Oil

While disposing of cooking oil down the drain doesn't seem like a problem in small quantities, it can quickly add up.

There are eco-friendly ways of throwing away vegetable oil and used oil to not damage your pipes and surrounding sewers.

Cooled cooking oil very quickly congeals and settles, clogging up pipes and can even corrode the metals. Oil solidifies quickly and sticks to the side of the pipes, which even soap won't break down after a while. This leads to a blockage.

Using a food waste collection point at your local council or local waste centre will ensure the oil is disposed of correctly.

If you do not have that available to you, using a kitchen food waste bin to dispose of cooking oil is sufficient.

You must check the oil has cooled first, and any leftover oil on pans and plates should be dabbed with paper towels and thrown away. Paper towels covered in grease will probably not be accepted by recycling centres, and they are generally not good for the environment. Using wash clothes or another form of absorbent fabric you can easily wash is a better option all around.

When you dispose of used cooking oil incorrectly, you can attract pests and harm the environment around you.

If someone were to pour cooking oil down a drain, it would eventually reach the ocean, rivers and other water sources, creating a layer atop the surface - harming marine and plant life. Mice, rats and other pests will be attracted to the smells and other animals in the area. It would be best if you were wary when you fry meat or other foods that accepts grease, as these will produce large amounts of oil.

Cooking oil is used in many dishes, either as plant-based foods or animal-based. Whether you're frying french fries, eggs or meat, you will require some oil.

The following tips in this article will help you prevent problems from occurring, as grease and oil can cause foul odours when leaked, especially in large amounts.

How should a business dispose of cooking oil?

Any business that uses frying oil and cooking oil are legally required to dispose of them correctly. Recycling cooking oil businesses exist to help companies with their waste oils, creating biofuels instead of fossil fuels.


Biofuel can make a significant change to the environment, making a carbon saving of 88% in comparison to fossil fuels and diesel. The Renewable Energy Association (REA) continues to offer options for biofuels, although more rigour is needed across the supply chain.

Sealable Containers

When you dump cooking oil, it is incredibly bad for the environment and can cause serious issues to the septic systems and sewers surrounding the property.

All catering businesses and restaurants should follow environmentally friendly methods to store and recycle cooking oil. Sealable containers and non-breakable containers are ideal for storing oil on the premises.

Authorised Collector

Expired vegetable oil and old cooking oil must be collected from an authorised collector as outlined by UK law and regulations.

The Hazardous Waste Regulations 2005 and The Control of Pollution (Oil Storage) Regulations 2001 outline that local restaurants must store their oil safely in plastic containers and drums and properly dispose of it after use.

Where businesses fail to do this, you can face prosecution and significant fines. There are over 200,000 sewer blockages in the UK each year - with 75% being caused by oil and grease in the drains and pipes.

While you may not realise the risks of throwing oil down the sink, toilet or drain, it can have significant repercussions.

What is the most environmentally friendly way to dispose of used cooking oil?

Used cooking oil is inevitable, especially in foodservice institutes. Fryers and cookers may use animal fat and grease, but these should be disposed of safely and in an environmentally friendly manner. Here are the best ways to dispose of your cooking oil for the environment:

Recycle It

The best eco-friendly option is to ensure the oil is recycled, ideally through a professional recycling company that accept cooking oil. If you find recycling centres that take oils, anaerobic digestion is the process that breaks down cooking oil.

Anaerobic digestion is the process of organic matter, food scraps, or oil breaking down and decomposing in the absence of oxygen. When the waste is compacted tightly, an airless environment is created, allowing for the breaking down to happen.

The end result of this is the oil converted into biogas, eventually becoming power for cars, heating water, and to produce electricity. Biodiesel burns cleaner than diesel fuel and other sources, providing energy for many avenues.

Dispose Of Used Cooking Oil


Businesses can also recycle waste oil before it spoils. The process follows dewatering, filtering, and distilling. Before filtering, separating the oil from the water is the first step to removing inorganic material. The end goal is to use the oil again, boiling and distilling it to ensure it is pure.

Olive Oil Compost

Olive oil should also be disposed of with care. Many easily throw it down drains or get rid in the bin, but you shouldn't do this. As with cooking oil, you should store it in sealed containers before throwing it out.

Small amounts of olive oil can also be reused on compost piles. This can also be done in small quantities with corn oil, sunflower oil and rapeseed oil. Composting holds many benefits for the soil underneath it, acting as a probiotic and food source. There are many ecosystems in our gardens and outdoor areas that can thrive with a good compost.

Non-Toxic Pesticide

If you want to find a practical purpose for your oil, you can use it as a non-toxic pesticide where insects are attacking your garden. Find yourself a spray bottle and gently spray the affected plants; this will kill all insects in the area.

Reuse It In Cooking

The simplest solution is to reuse the oil in different dishes, which is perfectly safe to do 2 or 3 times.

If you find yourself about to toss oil out, especially in larger amounts, consider the environmental impact before pouring and attempt to use it again. We recommend allowing the oil to cool before transferring it for saving.

Using a glass container (which is tightly sealed) will help extend the lifespan.

Be careful to not mix cooking oil from one meat to another. For example, oil that has been used for seafood should not be used again on fried chicken or vice-versa.

Reuse oil In Cooking

Freeze The Oil

Many homeowners choose to put their oil in the freezer, as it can be easier to dispose of in a solid form. Used cooking oil will take approximately one day to freeze over, but can be disposed of easier after this process.

Mix With Solid Waste Material

Some absorbent materials can be combined with cooking oil to create solid waste. Your household disposal may consist of sawdust, flour, sand, cat litter, etc. These can be combined with oil, soaking it up quickly.

There is still more to be done in the UK for proper oil disposal, as over 75,000 tonnes of oil and fat waste are thrown away each year. This costs £170 million but can be turned around if everyone begins disposing of oil correctly and aids with the process of turning it into biofuel.

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.