By Amanda Wills on Dec 1, 2009

Yes, You Can Recycle Cooking Oil

One search on Google News and you’ll find cooking oil recycling is a legitimate trend for communities around the nation.

While it may seem harmless, pouring the oil from your deep-fried turkey down the drain can harm wildlife and wreak havoc on local sewage systems.

Plan ahead when planning to recycle. Don’t wait until you have a pan of leftover oil to dump. Make a designated waste oil container, label it and put it somewhere everyone in your home can easily access. Photo: Flickr/_e.t

Plan ahead when planning to recycle. Don’t wait until you have a pan of leftover oil to dump. Make a designated waste oil container, label it and put it somewhere everyone in your home can easily access. Photo: Flickr/_e.t

Grease clings to pipes in small particles that latch onto each other, collecting until the mass is large enough to block sewage lines.

If you’re not collecting your excess grease in a cup beside the stove for later use (just like Grandma!), chances are your drain has some substantial clumps. In fact, cooking oil and kitchen grease is the No. 1 cause of clogged sewer pipes.

But there’s another option for disposing of cooking oil: alternative fuel. While many commercial facilities already contribute substantial supplies, some programs invite households to recycle their excess grease as well.

Some biofuel or biodiesel companies will often expand their number of drop-off points around food-related holidays, such as Thanksgiving, so take advantage.

It is best to put your oil into a tightly sealed container. If planning to recycle, please be sure not to mix any water with the oil. Before dropping off your oil, it is important to try to filter out some of those bits of food floating around in the fat.

Sound gross? It’s not as bad as having to clean out your drains later. Eww…

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Comments

  1. Ken Larson says

    Hello Amanda,

    Excellent article! Looking for a place in Lancaster CA where I can drop off cooking oil for recycling. Would love to here from you on this.

  2. Triskelion says

    If I cook poultry in cooking oil and then store it and reuse it for somethign else won’t there be harmful bacteria that I need to worry about?

    Btw you can also use cooking oil as an oil lamp! :)

  3. donah says

    I am 65 yrs old, and growing up, we use to put a little of the cooking oil on the dogs food ( its good for their hair to make it shiny) an to help clean them out occasionally. We also used a thin dishcloth and poured it into another container to clean it out a few times. You may need help with this from a friend to recycle the oil. We use $40.00 of oil in our deep fryer to cook a turkey (3 min per pound of turkey and its good)… But I hate to dispose of all the amount of oil? Is it possible to pour it in the ground over the weedy part of your garden???? thanks, Donah

  4. Lee says

    I live in the Flint, Michigan area and am looking for a place that accepts used cooking oil. Where can I find such information? I cannot find it online anywhere.
    Thanks,
    Lee Eck

  5. recycle says

    Local restaurants might take them. They normally have a big oil container in the back. It gets collected every week and the restaurants get pay for it.

  6. says

    I live in Westerly, RI and am a director of Westerly Innovations Network. We have a team of middle school students who started Project Turn Grease Into Fuel. They sign up restaurants to donate their waste cooking oil and have established residential waste cooking collection sites at two municipal landfills. A portion of the proceeds from the sale of the grease goes to our nonprofit organization. The grease is turned into biofuel. We in turn, donate it to charities who qualify families for heating oil assistance. You can do this in your communities. It helps solve several community problems – clogged sewers, financial assistance to families and eliminates CO2 from the atmosphere! Check out our website and contact us!

  7. Sandra says

    I store my bacon grease in a jar in the frig. I than use it to fry tomatoes, or put a little in my green beans, brown my beef for beef stew, etc. It adds flavor. You would be surprised to find you can add just a little to a lot of different things.

  8. ethayer says

    We save our cooking grease and make soap out of it. Easier than you’d expect, and soap for our laundry now costs about a penny per load, or less.

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