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How To Dispose Of Cooking Oil (Safely & Responsibly)

Published by: Chef Matty Riedel • Updated: January 22, 2024

How often have you poured the remaining cooking oil from the pan down the drain? That’s something I’m sure we’ve all done at some point. Cooking with a firm understanding of the proper amount of oil can usually be tedious.  Find below how to dispose of cooking oil!

There are so many other things to handle when cooking that you often forget or mistakenly add more oil to the pan than is necessary.  

Here are a few simple actions if you’ve been considering how to dispose of your cooking oil while reducing waste properly. 

How To Dispose Of Cooking Oil: Tips

Cooking oil disposal is critical for a variety of reasons. The more you drip the residual oil from your sink’s drains, the more clogged and unclean your drains will become.  

a woman about to add oil to a frying pan

However, you may dispose of cooking oil more effectively using the following methods: 

  • Keep it in a secure location in a storage container. Ensure you have a jar or a bottle set aside for collecting all the leftover oils every time you cook.  

This way, if you use the pan with residual oil, you won’t have to worry about finding a disposal location.  

When cooking, you’re usually in a hurry and can’t look for a new container to decide where to toss it. If you have a container, dripping the excess oil into it will be a breeze. 

  • If you live near a restaurant, you can inquire if you can give your surplus oil to the eatery. Restaurants have bulk disposal options for oil and other materials. They may be able to assist you in this situation.
  • You can always toss any leftover vegetable oil into the compost pile. Vegetable oils are made from plant sources such as soy, coconut, olive and others, so there is a low risk of spoilage.  

Oils containing animal fat should not be disposed of in the compost since they may attract various insects and bugs, causing further inconvenience. 

  • For your home, you can always engage a hazardous waste disposal service. A variety of agencies handle home hazardous trash collection. All you have to do is gather the wasted oil in a container and deliver it back regularly. 
  • It is critical to separate your waste, and you can do so by creating a separate trash can with a waterproof bag from the inside to carry the oil. This way, you’ll know the oil-filled bin whenever you throw trash out. After that, you can dispose of it separately without staining anything else. 
  • If you don’t want to deal with the viscous liquid cooking oil waste, you may freeze it and keep it solid without worrying about leakage. 

These are a few practical ways to dispose of used cooking oil. One thing to keep in mind is that, because it’s oil, it can’t be treated like water, you’ll need to be extremely careful where you dispose of it.  

If not done correctly, it can result in serious dangers. When you dispose of oil recklessly, you risk making the floor slippery, which can cause problems of its own. 

Reuse Cooking Oil 

How to Dispose of Cooking Oil

If you do not like pouring the used cooking oil in the trash container or sink as waste, you can think of ways to reuse it. Here are a few tips to do so: 

  • The safe storage of spent oil is necessary. You can divide the oils according to what you’re cooking. For example, if you’ve cooked some fish, set aside a container solely for the oil from the fish.  

In this manner, you can cook another batch of fish in the same oil the next day without the danger of transmitting the smell of one food item to another. 

  • Use a strainer every time you store your excess cooking oil. Doing so will allow you to segregate all the impurities that may create problems if you plan to cook in the same oil the next day. 
  • Keep a pan with oil just for frying your chips and fries. This way, you will not have to take out a new pan whenever you like frying some chips. Cover the pan with a lid, and you can use the same oil for a few days to fry your favourite snacks easily.  

Reusing is always the best idea to curb the waste of anything. However, always ensure that the oil you plan to reuse has not expired. 

Ideas To Reduce Use Of Cooking Oil 

Olive oil in an unlabelled bottle - How to Dispose of Cooking Oil

One of the best ways to reduce the wastage of cooking oil is to reduce the amount you use while cooking. Here are a few ways in which you can reduce the use of cooking oil drastically: 

  • Use an air fryer instead of a deep-fat fryer to reduce oil usage. 
  • Use a non-stick pan for cooking in less oil. 
  • Use oil with calculation. Do not pour it directly from the bottle. Use a spoon instead. 
  • Use napkins to soak extra oil from the food. 

Using less oil is always a good idea, and limiting oil waste keeps your home clean and the environment clean. Griddle pans and air fryers are examples of cookware that use less oil.

How To Dispose Of Cooking Oil: Summing Up 

Oil is an essential ingredient needed to cook food. Some like greasy food, whereas some do not.  

No matter what the case is, any cooking oil waste should be disposed of in the best possible way. 

Chef and Restaurant Owner Matty Riedel
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