How to Dispose of Cooking Oil and Grease

Fried chicken, chicken nuggets, or even french fries are tasty food and snacks. It is hard to give them up. Unfortunately, the grease they leave behind can cause problems in your sink and sewer systems or you might be having a spring clean at home and find grease.

That may be the situation you face unless you know how to dispose of that old grease the right way. When you learn the proper techniques to dispose of the old grease or cooking oil, you can continue to enjoy your favorite fried foods and snacks.

To learn how to dispose of cooking oil and grease the proper, safe way, just keep reading our article. It has the guidelines and information to help you continue to cook those great-tasting foods without worrying about using the incorrect disposal process.

Environmentally Friendly Ways to Dispose of Small Amounts of Used Oil

There are two good ways to dispose of your used cooking oil:

1. Recycle

This is done by pouring your used oil into a safe container that you can seal. Then you reuse it, as long as it was not heated past its smoke point. However, you only can reuse oil so many times, and if it goes bad, you should just toss it in the trash.

2. Throw it in the Trash

This method involves letting the oil cool first, then pouring it into containers that can be sealed, are disposable, and won’t break. Once you fill the container, seal it nice and tight, and then toss it in your garbage can.

Tip #1: You can freeze the oil if you want to and turn it into a solid product. It takes about 24 hours to do this, and it will be just as easy to toss in the trash.

Tip #2: It is possible to make your cooking oil last longer. Just tighten the cap very tight, and you can keep unused cooking oil for up to 2 years in your freezer.

How to Dispose of Expired Oil

The first thing is what NOT to do. You should never dispose of expired cooking oil down your drain. Once in your drain, it can solidify and cause you many problems by blocking the drains or your sewer lines.

The best method of disposing of small amounts of expired cooking oil is to put it in a disposable container, seal the lid tight and toss it in the trash. There is no difference between this method and disposing of used cooking oil that might be sat around in your home.

Just make sure not to put the expired cooking oil in trash bags, plastic bags, or easy-to-break containers. Those items can break easily and let the oil leak out and harm the environment.

Or you can save it up and recycle it through one of the many recycling agencies that may be in your area. This may not be a good option if you do not use a lot of cooking oil in any given month.

How to Dispose of Olive Oil

There is not a different method for disposing of this type of cooking oil than any other type of cooking oil. Make sure not to pour it down the drain, as the same problems can arise if you do.

Find good unbreakable and sealable containers and pour the olive oil in those. Then make sure the seal is tight and unable to leak, then toss it in the trash can. If this oil and the other types of cooking oil are still clean, store it safely and use it until it is no longer usable.

How to Dispose of Large Amounts of Cooking Oil

The best way to handle this situation is to recycle it. Some companies will collect your used cooking oil and take it to a processing plant. The people who take this used oil away will either recycle it themselves or take it to a recycling plant for you.

This is the most effective and best way to be environmentally friendly. The reason is that used cooking oil can be filtered or broken down. When the former is done, the used cooking oil is turned into biodiesel fuel which burns cleaner than regular diesel fuel.

If the latter process is chosen, then the oil is turned into biogas which can power cars, water heaters, and generate electricity. Recycling protects the environment through several means.

The key to recycling is to store a large amount of cooking oil in approved containers.

How NOT to Dispose of Cooking Oil

While the places we are about to mention are convenient locations to pour out your cooking oil, they are not the best options you have. You can do a lot of damage if you use these three options:

Down Your Drain

Many people say that it will flow right through your sewer system if you pour the oil down the drain with hot water. However, after a while, the hot water cools, and so will the oil. It will become solid soon after and find places to clog that can cost thousands of dollars to fix.

Pour on the Ground

This may be done more often when you are camping, in your RV boondocking, and in other outdoor areas. This option may be convenient, but it also attracts the attention of some wild animals.

If the animals eat the oil, it can cause some health issues for them, or it may end up in someone’s sewer system and clog it up.

In Your Compost Pile

A little is okay and may help draw the attention of the bugs necessary to help the composting. However, a lot will block the airflow and moisture required to complete the composting process. That will ruin the fertilizer that you spent so much time and work creating.

 Also, you may attract rats and mice, which will create other issues for you and your family. Their droppings can make your compost unhealthy and unusable.

The best way to dispose of cooking oil is through the proper means. Doing this protects your drains, the sewer system and keeps unwanted wildlife from your yard. There is little effort in disposing of cooking oil the right way, and it is worth that effort.