Cooking oil is used to prepare a wide range of foods from frying bacon, browning ground beef to deep-frying chicken. When the meals have been prepared and served, used cooking oil is no longer suitable for cooking. Why? The expired cooking oil contains charred particles of food that can be poisonous if consumed. So, what happens to all the used cooking oil in restaurants across the United States?
It is important to know how to dispose of cooking oil correctly. If this oil is poured down the sink, it could have potentially terrible – and expensive – consequences. That is because once the oil comes into contact with water, it coagulates and solidifies into chunks. The chunks usually collect along the drainpipe, and continuous deposits lead to blockage. This affects a large section of the sewer pipe and kitchen drain and may result in expensive repairs.
It is estimated that there are almost 650,000 restaurants in America. All these restaurants use huge volumes of cooking oil every day. Without the right cooking oil disposal procedures, such used oil is bound to have negative consequences on our environment. Read on to learn how to dispose of old cooking oil and the benefits of recycling it to help lower the negative environmental impact as well as eliminate the chances of blocking drains.
As mentioned earlier, draining used cooking oil into the sewer system will result in a blockage that will occur near the restaurant, or area, the oil is being dumped. A plumber will need to help unblock the drain, which means the damage done due to past used cooking oil deposits may result in the complete replacement of your kitchen drain. Additionally, health officials will close establishments with these types of issues until the repairs have been done. These two combinations of disasters can diminish a restaurant’s reputation and can be a huge financial burden.
One main reason for recycling cooking oil is to make fuel. Biodiesel is a renewable alternative to petroleum-based diesel fuel. Most U.S. biodiesel is produced from resources such as soybean oil and waste cooking oil. Biodiesel can be useful for heating buildings as well as powering vehicles. Using biodiesel helps reduce carbon dioxide emissions. This ultimately helps reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Additionally, it helps reduce reliance on foreign oil resources.
There are many ways you can use leftover cooking oil besides those previously mentioned. For example, oil is a delicacy for earthworms so try adding a little used oil to your compost heap. The compost produced can be used for a multitude of uses. Help feathered friends by stuffing solid fat chunks from old oil into stockings and hanging them outside. These extra fat calories help birds gain the additional calories needed to survive the cold winter months. You can even use used cooking oil to kill weeds. Just place it in a spray bottle and spray those unruly nuisances away.
Clearly, used cooking oil has many uses. By using these tips, you can be assured that you are preventing plumbing problems for your commercial or residential kitchen. Not only will you be providing raw materials for different products like soap and biodiesel but you will ensure the environment does not suffer from damage brought about by the poor disposal of used cooking oil.
U.S. Oil Solutions collects and recycles used cooking oil from restaurants, cafeterias, quick service outlets, and other food providers. With U.S. Oil Solutions, we’re continuing to provide a clean, safe, and worry-free service that protects our sewers and waterways while creating sustainable new products.
According to the US Environmental Protection Agency, whose mission is to protect human health and the environment, “somewhere between 380 and 800 million gallons of waste oil are collected by professional oil recycling services for reuse.” Recycling companies collect and use the oil disposals for various uses. These uses for recycling used cooking oil helps produce additives for manufactured products, lubricant products, bitumen-based products, help release products from their molds, for use in industrial burners, and much more.