Used cooking oils and fats can cause huge problems if not disposed of correctly. But what is the best way to dispose of cooking oil? It depends whether you are a homeowner trying to get rid of your old oils, or a commercial business with huge amounts of used cooking oils which need to be disposed of.
For the homeowner, the quantities of used cooking oil which you need to dispose of are generally really small, usually after you have cooked your steak or burgers of an evening there will be some residual cooking oil and fat left in the frying pan. It’s tempting to simply pour this down your sink isn’t it? However this is probably the worst thing you can do, It could clog up your drains, leading to costly plumbing repairs and smelly drains in your house. As the majority of household waste water is sent to sewage plants to be treated before being discharged back into the environment, there are also huge environmental issues too. The problem with this is that most sewage treatment works are not able to remove all traces of used cooking oil from the liquid, so they end up becoming a breeding ground for bacteria and can over time (with many different household doing the same thing) clog up the mains sewer pipes. These clogs when left un-treated turn into “fatbergs”.
Fatbergs are sewer blockages caused from the build up of solidified cooking fats mixed with other household waste that have not been disposed of correctly. These fatbergs can cause huge problems as they release unpleasant smells, and in some cases can cause sewage to spill out onto the street during times of heavy rain. Local councils spend £1000’s each year in the combat against fatbergs, the teams of sewerage workers really have one of the dirtiest jobs in Britain.
Read more about how the UK combats Fatbergs in this article by the Guardian news paper. – https://www.theguardian.com/money/2019/dec/20/fighting-fatbergs-this-is-now-a-huge-environmental-issue
What Can Homeowners Do?
And For Commercial Businesses?
If you run a restaurant, fast food business, café etc… disposing of used cooking oils is a bit more tricky. Due to the larger quantities involved there are certain legal requirements that you should adhere to in order to dispose of used oils correctly. There are specific rules in how your cooking oils should be stored, especially onsite within food preparation areas. You can’t just dispose of your oils and fats in the bin as you would if you were a home owner. This type of cooking waste is classed as a hazardous waste, most recycling companies don’t handle this type of waste either, you need to seek out a specialist waste carrier who will collect this waste for you and dispose or recycle it. They should also provide you with the relevant paperwork which is required by law, failing to have this paperwork can result in your business being shut down temporarily, or at worst closed for good!
It’s not all bad news, once your used cooking oils have been collected by the registered waste carrier. They would usually take it to a processing plant to turn it into bio-fuels. Here at Cater Oils, we aim to recycle 100% of all used cooking fats and oils which we collect into Bio-Diesel. We work with various processing plants who can recycle these oils and fats. Bio-Fuels are a brilliant way to help turn your waste into an alternative energy source, which is great for the environment! The bio-diesel can then be used to drive vehicles, which will cut down on fuel consumption and save the environment from even more harmful emissions. It’s a great way to keep your rubbish out of landfill and turn it into something useful that protects the environment!
So to answer the question, what is the best way to dispose of cooking oil? We would say by correctly storing it, letting us collect your oil and have us recycle it into a bio-fuel. If you are a commercial business needing to dispose of cooking oil, or even a homeowner with a good amount to dispose of then please complete our FREE oil collection form. In most cases we also pay you to take your oil off your hands!