fbpx Skip to main content

How to Dispose of Cooking Oil

After cooking up your favorite concoction in the kitchen, the last thing anyone wants is a complicated clean up. When you know how to reuse, recycle, and responsibly dispose of your waste, you’ll find it doesn’t take too much effort to do it right. That’s why we felt it important to talk about how to dispose of cooking oil properly – as it can be damaging to the environment and to your home!

Disposing of kitchen oil takes a few extra steps than some other waste, but the benefit for your home appliances, the environment, and your wallet are well worth it. 

Picture of french fries in boiling grease for the blog about how to dispose of cooking oil.

What Not to Do with Cooking Oil

Want to learn how to dispose of cooking oil the right way? Let’s start with what not to do. There are a few big don’t when it comes to oils like olive oil, palm oil, soybean oil, canola oil, and vegetable oils. 

Do Not Throw Oil Down the Drain

You should never toss old oil down the kitchen sink or any other drain in your house. Products like these can harden in the pipes, or glob together to form “fatbergs”. These “fatbergs” stick to each other and to the pipes, creating major blockages that cause dense buildup over time that eventually lead to major sewage backups and clogged plumbing. 

Do Not Throw Oil on the Ground

You may think that pouring that used oil on the ground might keep it out of the sewage systems, but that’s not the case. When you pour oil out onto the grass, street, or sidewalk, it will eventually make its way into the sewer just as it would when poured down your drain. 

Plus, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has warned against this method of disposal, citing its danger to the health of wildlife and the surrounding ecosystems.

Do Not Place Oil In the Compost

Though you may assume oil can be composted like any other organic substance, the fact is that mixing large amounts of oil into your compost bin can seriously disrupt the composting process. 

This is because the oil forms barriers that reduce air and water flow around and through the other materials—two components that are absolutely necessary to aerobic composting. 

How to Dispose of Cooking Oil

So, how should you dispose of cooking oil? Follow these steps:

  1. Set the oil aside and allow it to cool. You don’t want to toss piping hot oil anywhere, especially not in the trash.
  2. Use a funnel to pour the cooled oil into an air-tight container, or scrape the cooled grease into the container. 
  3. You can then seal the container up, and toss it with your regular waste for collection. 

If you cook with oil a lot, it may be a good idea to keep a larger container nearby and continually fill it up with the old oil each time you cook until it is full, to reduce waste. 

How to Recycle Cooking Oil

The most sustainable way to get rid of old cooking oil, though, is through recycling. You can do this at home by simply reusing your old oil, or you can take your expired oil to a recycling center.

In many cases, you can reuse cooking oil three or four times before it goes bad. All you have to do is let the oil cool down a bit to avoid any splashes that might burn you, then run it through a coffee filter or cheesecloth to remove any chunks of food. You can recycle a container you already have on hand to store the oil, or you can purchase a grease container or oil keeper specifically for this purpose.

If your oil is past its prime but you don’t want to let it go to waste, you can also bring it in a sealed container to your local recycling center. There, they can facilitate a process in which old oil is sent to be transformed into biodiesel fuel.

Call Wall Recycling & Waste Management

Looking for a recycling center near you for your old cooking oil or want to learn how to dispose of common household items, old TVs, or computers? Wall Recycling has locations throughout North Carolina including Raleigh, Greensboro, Wilmington, Durham, and more. You can drop off your cooking oil, old electronics, or other refuse and trust us to dispose of it responsibly. 

Contact us today to learn more and find a recycling center near you!