Used cooking oil is a valuable resource; it can be purified and used in the production of many useful products, including animal feed supplements, biofuels and biodiesel.
With that in mind, it seems bonkers that so much used oil is disposed of in landfill or poured into our water systems each year, causing chaos and water contamination.
Down The Drain
When we pour used oil into sinks or drains in our homes and businesses, over time a buildup of fat and grease accumulates inside the traps and bends within the system. Eventually, this build up can cause major problems. Any kind of back up within the system could be costly and inconvenient to resolve, or worst-case scenario a complete pipe blockage could occur and the resulting bill may well make sure that you never make the same mistake again!
Each year, millions of pounds are spent on sewerage repairs and maintenance that could easily be prevented if only everyone were to simply stop pouring oil down the drain. Approximately 75% of all water company call outs are caused by fat, oil and grease.
Those who are aware of the damage that can be caused by pouring oil down the drain, usually choose to cool it down, then dispose of it in closed containers as regular waste. This is certainly preferable to putting it into the water system, but unfortunately it still means that an incredibly useful resource, which could have been successfully recycled and put to good use, is sent to landfill.
Efficient recycling is the only sustainable, green solution for our used oil and therefore the only satisfactory alternative.
How To Recycle Your Used Cooking Oil
If you only produce a very small amount of oil for disposal each year, your best bet is to look for a convenient waste recycling point or bank close by for disposal. All household recycling centres in the UK have a used oil collection point; many have large tanks, which are capable of holding large volumes of oil.
The best container to collect, transport and dispose of your used oil in, is the one it came in! Simply pour your cool oil into the container, (a plastic funnel will make this job far easier and less messy). There is no need to strain your oil to remove any particles or lumps of food, the purpose made tanks are fitted with their own strainers for doing this. You can recycle as much oil as you have, just as it is.
Those who produce used oil on a larger scale should look for a suitable company for collection. This collection service should be incredibly convenient, companies specialising in this type of collection will typically accept your oil in the container you purchased it in, or they may supply you with suitable containers of their own.
Generate A Small Revenue From Your Used Oil
Depending on scale, if you are a business producing a reasonable quantity of used oil, collection will be free of charge or it may even create small, but welcome additional revenue.
Businesses like restaurants, cafes and other eateries producing larger volumes are realising that by disposing of their used oil in a responsible way, they are able to simplify their working practice, save money and reduce their carbon footprint, so doing the right thing has become a lot easier!
Vegetable Oil Fuel
An increasing amount of used vegetable oils are being refined and used to create biofuels, for heating and power generation. On top of the obvious benefits of recycling a resource that would otherwise go to waste, any biofuels derived from cooking oils generally burn clean without producing any carbon monoxide, helping us to further reduce our carbon footprint.
All types of cooking all are suitable for reuse and regardless of how much, or how little you are able to recycle. Every little bit will help us to work collectively towards a greener, cleaner future for both businesses and homes.