How to Recycle Cooking Oil
Cooking oil can be recycled into biodiesel, but otherwise should be disposed of properly as putting it in the trash or down the drain can be dangerous.
Frequent Cooking Oil Recycling Questions
How much cooking oil does one need in order to recycle?
The answer here lies in how much oil your household uses on a regular basis and what’s available in your neck of the woods.
For example, around Thanksgiving, residential oil recycling opportunities go up, allowing for more chances to recover your used turkey fryer oil. On the other hand, some cities maintain collections year-round. You can also check with local restaurants to see if they recycle their cooking oil, and if your own oil could be added to their larger-scale collection.
Jump to the recycling search for your local options.
Can cooking oil be poured down the drain?
Try to avoid this practice as much as possible. Grease sticks to pipes in small particles which catch each other, collecting until the mass could be large enough to block (and back up!) sewage lines. It’s best to filter out any food particles and store your oil in a sealed container for recycling later.
How is cooking oil converted to biodiesel?
Large amounts of cooking oil often equate to serious amounts of fuel that can potentially be created and sold – a major reason why many restaurant chains are recycling and selling their used cooking oil on an industrial scale. At-home fuel producers, however, are on the rise. With a little knowledge of chemistry and some time, you too could be producing your own biodiesel.
Can cooking oil go in compost piles?
As a rule of thumb, fats and animal proteins of any kind should stay out of your home compost pile. Essentially, most home piles do not get hot enough to break these materials down, creating the potential for rot in your pile. Stick to non-greasy, non-processed foods instead for the best results.
How many times can cooking oil be reused?
Whether or not you reuse your cooking oil depends greatly on a number of factors, including temperature, time and purpose. Always filter out food particles that may have broken free in the frying process, don’t mix different oils and keep cooking temperatures below 375 degrees to reduce the chances that your oil will become unsafe to use.