Oils are an indispensible part of the cooking repertoire for homes and businesses, but confusion often exists with regards to how you store waste cooking oils and dispose of them after use. Here’s everything you need to know.
Domestic or commercial settings
How you handle cooking oil waste largely depends on whether you operate in a domestic or commercial setting. In a domestic environment, small amounts of sealed cooking oil can be disposed of in a bin, according to local council collection regulations, provided it has been stored and disposed of correctly.
In a commercial set-up, such as a restaurant or other catering business, it’s illegal to dispose of cooking oils in the bin. You would need to use a reliable and reputable waste oil collection service to dispose of your used cooking oil.
Either way, it’s important to safely store your used cooking oil once it has been finished with. The oil needs to cool down and harden first, and then be collected and stored in containers, in preparation for disposal or waste oil collection.
Authorised waste oil collection companies will use the appropriate methods to dispose of your used cooking oil. In many cases, it gets recycled to make useful products such as biofuels.
When storing the waste oil, it’s important to keep it in sealed containers that are airtight and leakproof, away from any nearby drains. This not only prevents unpleasant odours from escaping, but it keeps vermin at bay. Rats, in particular, are attracted to the smell of used cooking oil, and incorrect storage of oil waste could result in a vermin infestation if you’re not careful.
It’s illegal for businesses to throw waste cooking oil down the sink. Oils can clog the drains, cause odours and attract vermin. If you need to call someone out to fix a blocked drain caused by the accumulation of cooking oil waste, you could end up with a hefty fine and a large plumbing bill. Used cooking oils should also never be added to animal feeds.