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How to Dispose of Cooking Oil

Used cooking oil can wreak havoc on our drains and our natural world. So, it’s no wonder that many of us are searching for alternative ways to dispose of or use cooking oil to reduce this negative impact. 

Whether you’re pursuing a zero waste lifestyle or just want to make a few positive changes to your household, if you want to know how to dispose of cooking oil in an environmentally friendly way that does not damage your drains, read on for our top tips. 

how to dispose of cooking oil

Why you shouldn’t put oil down the sink 

Pouring cooking oil down the drain can come back to bite you, building up to create blockages over time. It can be all too easy to put a pan to soak in the sink without considering the impact of the oil on the drainage systems and the wider environment. 

So why shouldn’t you put oil down the sink? The oil will combine with other materials, leading to the formation of fatbergs which can cause chaos in sewer systems across the UK, and this can lead to backups in sewers and waterways, causing environmental and public health problems. Blockages can also crack your household drains, leading to costly drain repair. 

Luckily, there are many simple, and sometimes ingenious, ways to dispose of or get a second use out of, used cooking oil or fats. 

Best ways to dispose of cooking oil 

So, let’s take a look at how to get rid of cooking oil without sending it down your drains. 

  • Food waste recycling service: If you have access to a food waste recycling service, bin or container, then simply pop the cooled down oil in there for it to be safely processed. 
  • Household waste: Placing small amounts of oil and fat in your household waste is preferable to dumping it down the drain. Simply wait for the substance to cool before using a tissue to wipe off the excess oil and place it in the household bin. It’s wise to place larger amounts of cooking oil in a container before disposing of them. 
  • Household Waste Recycling Centres (HWRCs): Check to see if there is a HWRC near you, as they may be able to recycle your cooking oil and put it to good use. 
  • Feed the birds: If the oil has been used to cook chicken or bacon, then simply pour the cool oil into a little pot, mix it with some bird seeds and nuts, and place it outside – it will go down a treat with your feathered friends. 
  • Use it as a wood preservative: Save some money on creosote and instead use used cooking oil. Brush a little on your fence or garden shed to help preserve the wood. 
  • Oil collection banks: Did you know? A few Sainsburys stores in Scotland are trialling oil collection banks, whereby they will actually take used cooking oil off your hands and send it to be recycled into biodiesel. If you’re lucky enough to live nearby, then definitely take advantage – hopefully if it’s successful then we could see more programmes like these rolling out in future. 

Here at Woodford Recycling, we put the planet first. We’re a dedicated waste management, skip hire and recycling specialist who aim to recycle 100% of the waste we collect. From small businesses, all the way to large corporations, we take on jobs of all sizes and scales. We serve customers across Cambridge, Huntingdon and Peterborough – so get in touch to learn more. 

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