7 Tips for Recycling Used Cooking Oil

7 Tips for Recycling Used Cooking Oil

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Most people have no idea what to do with their old cooking oil and end up disposing of it in the wrong manner. Used cooking oil is not as flammable as grease, but it burns very intensely. Pouring the used cooking oil down the drain ends up clogging the drains and pipes, which is very costly to unclog.

In the past, cooking oils has been recycled into cosmetics or animal feeds. Still, new initiatives on recycling offer more options such as biodiesel, and you can sell the used oil to a recycling company. When the waste cooking oil goes to the used oil recycling company, it goes through a rigorous process of cleaning by heating it and separating the fat from the debris.

The debris mainly consists of protein and water from food residue. After the cleaning process, the purified oil is ideal as a raw material in the production of biodiesel or as an intermediate in the distillation of glycerol and fatty acids. You need to create a service agreement with the recycling company or vendor who buys your used cooking oil. The agreement must account for the following:

The Amount of Oil Produced

You need to have a rough idea of how much oil you will produce in either a week or a month so that you can agree on the pick-up duration. If yours is a large establishment such as a hotel, you must select a pick-up point. This is to avoid your employees from going too far to store the oil. Large institutions have several locations where the oil is picked up.

The Size of Your Container

You need to have a realistic estimate of your container size. The used oil vendor may offer you different sizes of oil containers. For example, if you produce approximately 20 gallons every week, you can have had a storage capacity of 100 gallons, stored separately in two barrels. To find out what size of container that suits your facility, you must consider the amount of space available for oil storage.

Your site may not have enough space to fit a container that carries 300 gallons — a container this size has a measurement of 3.5 by 5 feet. If you have a smaller container and more oil production, it means the oil will have to be picked up more often, which is more expensive for the vendor.


The used cooking oil needs to be in liquid form during pick up. If you are in an area with very harsh winters, you may have to heat your container during the cold months. Some used oil vendors will offer you a container with an in-built heater that keeps the oil in liquid form.

Filter the Oil

You need to filter the oil, rather than pouring it into the containers. If the used oil recycling company has to remove accumulated food deposits when they pick up the oil, they will buy the oil for less. Be careful not to contaminate the oil with grease trap waste, which is raw sewage.

Guard against Oil Spills

 A reputable oil-recycling vendor must strive to keep the area surrounding the disposal container clean. Some used oil vendors may offer extra services together with the oil recycling services to cut on costs. Ask the recycler about including services such as cleaning and maintaining grease traps, drains, kitchen equipment, and exhaust hoods.


As we strive towards green earth and reducing greenhouse gas emissions, recycling is a significant part of this journey. Used cooking oil can be recycled and reused in many ways, including as a pesticide, for lighting lamps, to make bird feed, as an addition to your compost heap, to make soap, among other things. Pouring the oil down the drain not only costs you hundreds or thousands of dollars in unclogging the pipe but also degrades the environment and kills fish and other water life when it ends up in rivers. The responsible thing to do, and to help you earn an extra coin, is to either recycle it or sell it to used oil

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