The proper disposal of used cooking oil is an essential waste concern. So much so that various countries have enacted laws on how one is supposed to handle the disposal of used cooking oil.
The concern arises from the fact that pouring used cooking oil down the sink as most people do blocks piping and plumbing leading to a sewage backup. That is not only unhygienic; it also smells pretty bad.
Note that combining used oil with hot water when pouring it down the drain does not help because drains don’t have the required grease management system. Consequently, even with hot water, the sewage will still back up at some point. To avoid this, here are four ways you can dispose of cooking oil responsibly.
1. Re-use it
Anytime you use oil for foods such as potatoes or vegetables; you can re-use several times before it goes bad. However, remember to check that the oil is safe for re-use after each subsequent cooking session.
When you note that the oil has formed a foam or is looking cloudy, then it is time to stop re-using it. Also, check the smell. An acrid and heavy scent indicates that the oil has gone bad. As soon as the oil goes bad, then it is time to consider the other methods of disposal discussed below.
2. Throw out the oil the right way
To do this, you must first cool the oil to reduce the risk of burning yourself. Alternatively, you can leave it to cool at room temperature overnight. Next, find a non-breakable container that has a tight seal.
Avoid glass containers because they can shatter. Experts recommend plastic bottles such as peanut butter jars. Pour the cooled oil into the container and fasten the seal. Remember to label the container so that someone does not take the oil and re-use it.
Once you have done so, you can now toss the container of used oil into the trash. Bear in mind that you should not pour the oil directly into the trash can. Doing so will make a mess, it will attract rodents, it will make your trash can smell and finally, it might disintegrate your trash can.
3. Recycle the oil
Cooking oil recycling is a process by which certain companies or organizations take used cooking oil and convert it into something else. Usually, used cooking oil is used in making biodiesel—an alternative to the more commonly used fossil diesel.
During the cooking oil recycling process manufacturer by MBP Solutions, impurities are removed, the oil is treated and then taken through a process known as transesterification to convert it to biodiesel. For you to recycle the oil, you must get in touch with a company or organization whose job is to recycle used cooking oil.
If your region lacks one, then consult some of the big restaurants in your area. Because of the amount of used oil restaurants produce, chances are high they know of an oil recycling company willing to buy the oil from you.
If the restaurants do not help you, then try searching for programs in your state or county that help in the disposal of oil. In a bid to maintain the environment, most local governments have come up with programs that reduce the neglectful disposal of oil. Often, governments partner with waste management companies.
4. Freeze the oil
Freezing the oil is not the most preferred method because it is cumbersome. However, it is still an effective method of disposing of used cooking oil. First, cool the oil. Follow this up by pouring the oil into a container.
Place the container in the freezer and allow the oil to solidify. Finally, scoop the solid oil directly into the trash can.
The mentioned four methods are some of the best ways of disposing of used cooking oil. There are other methods, of course, such as using the oil to kill weeds. However, these methods do not work for large scale disposal.