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#1
Old 02-27-2005, 10:27 PM
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Best way to dispose of used cooking oil?

We fried some fish. It sure was good! We don't eat much fried stuff anymore.

Anyway, I wanted to throw the 1-2 cups of used oil down the drain.

DH wanted to "save" it and reuse it "later". I pointed out that "later" could be a very, very long time around here, that this oil might have a flavor now, that cooking oil was pretty inexpensive, and suggested pouring it down the drain.

He said throwing it down the drain was polluting the environment (or would kill the alligators or something). I countered with "waste water treatment plants" and offered to dump it down the drain.

He suggested soaking it up with paper towels and putting it in the trash. I said it would be easier to pour it down the drain.

He dumped it somewhere- *I don't know where- in the back yard. I said he was killing our worms and polluting our environment.

I don't really like having him help around the kitchen much.


What do you do with that much used kitchen oil?

(* I think he learned this "dump it in the yard" trick from his uncle who once dumped a large amount of used cooking oil in our yard following a turkey fry. Uncle Bumpkin dumped all this oil just a few feet from our back door even though we have a large yard. It took over a year for the grass to grow back.)
#2
Old 02-27-2005, 10:43 PM
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Join Date: Feb 2005
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Dear Ca3799,

sorry but I still have to find an answer on what is the best way to dispose used cooking oil. But DH is right about not to pour it down the drain. This is because of the calcium carbonate that is always solved in water. If the oil and the calcium carbonate come together, they will build a hard substance that fills up your pipes. This substance cannot easily be removed by chemical pipe cleaners and therefore you will have to replace your pipes much sooner than you would have to if you do not pour oil down the drain. This means pouring oil down the drain costs a lot more money, than just the price for the oil.

Now I'm interested, what answers to the best way of disposal will come.

cu
#3
Old 02-27-2005, 11:17 PM
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Location: San Francisco
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eagle, I've never heard anything regarding calcium carbonate and oils. Can you provide a cite?

Everything I've read indicates that oils that are solid at room temperature should not be disposed down the drain since it will harden and clog the pipes. Oils that are liquid at room temperature are perfectly fine to dispose and will be handled at the treatment plant.
#4
Old 02-27-2005, 11:26 PM
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Join Date: Feb 2005
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shalmanese
eagle, I've never heard anything regarding calcium carbonate and oils. Can you provide a cite?
Well it's a quote from my landlord who happens to be a plumber.

Looking for an internet source I was only able to find comments on temperature. However, please be aware, that the temperatures in the sewerage system can be far below room temperature, and olive oil flocks out already on room temperature and other oils - i suppose - do it also above 0įC if polluted.

For me sitting in Germany I found the answer: laws for protecting the environment require us to collect our used cooking oil and bring it to the local waste disposal. This is free for private households but costs a fee for restaurants and the like.

cu
#5
Old 02-28-2005, 02:56 AM
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In my illustrious youth I worked at several fast food outlets. I was told many times that the used oil from the fryers is collected and sold to companies that manufacture cosmetics. Makes me wonder if there's any way for the small-time home consumer to get a piece of that action.

I just collect my oil and drippings in old coffee cans or mayo jars and throw them away when they get full. I've always thought that's what everybody does.
#6
Old 02-28-2005, 03:27 AM
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Location: Sydney
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I hear that there is a product in Japan that peple use to solidify used cooking oil for easy disposal in household waste. They add the oil to a container of this stuff and ..bingo...solid waste. Does anyone know what this is?

Things I can think of are - adsorb the oil onto diatomaceous earth or zeolite, hydrolyse the oil and form a solid salt (make soap), filter* and put it in your tractor or 4WD fuel tank.

* ps Nice way to filter any old oil is via capillary action / syphon through an old rope - fill drum with oil, put thick hemp rope in oil and hang over edge to a lower clean container. Oil syphons into lower container.
#7
Old 02-28-2005, 10:03 AM
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Location: Diogenes Club, TC, MN
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Iím with Wahsoe on this one. Iíve always collected fats and oils in a jar and when full, tighten down the lid and throw it away. I donít fry much in oil so it takes a while to fill up the jar. A few times when I used a lot of cooking oil to deep fry, I filtered it through a paper towel back into the oil container (which was empty because of the amount I used) and saved it to reuse later. I always figured that oil down a drain would lead to clogging, but donít know for a fact.
#8
Old 02-28-2005, 10:32 AM
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Join Date: Mar 2000
Posts: 7,849
Quote:
Originally Posted by Washoe
In my illustrious youth I worked at several fast food outlets. I was told many times that the used oil from the fryers is collected and sold to companies that manufacture cosmetics. Makes me wonder if there's any way for the small-time home consumer to get a piece of that action...
Used for a variety of stuff. Darling International is one company that provides the service:

http://darlingii.com/restaurant/restaurant.htm

In their case, I believe they charge the resturaunts for the service of hauling it off. Then, they make tallow out of it, which can be used for a wide variety of products:

http://darlingii.com/finished/finished.htm

They seem to be making money at it, as well as their rendering business. There's a distinct advantage to being in a situation where you can get somebody to pay you to haul off your raw materials.
#9
Old 02-28-2005, 10:58 AM
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Join Date: Sep 2003
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A possibility that I think is cool is biodiesel, where we could all be running our cars on used vegetable oil. Although the smell of french fries in the air might get to be somewhat overwhelming during rush hour.

Link to biodieselamerica.org

But until this happens, put me in with the people who collect it in a jar and throw it out when the jar's full.
#10
Old 02-28-2005, 11:11 AM
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Location: Newark-On-Trent UK
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I looked out of our window the other evening and noticed some metal drums on the pavement ( sidewalk ) across the road. On inspection they were four, 5 gallon drums of used cooking oil that someone had just dumped. I phoned our council the next day and they came and collected them within the hour. So more charges on our council tax because some thoughtless idiot did not want to dispose of their old oil properly.
#11
Old 02-28-2005, 11:18 AM
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Heck, if there's already a significant amount of garbage in the kitchen waste basket, I don't even bother to collect it - I just pour it in, and let the used coffee grounds and food wrappings soak it up. It's all going out to the curb in a plastic bag within a week anyway. If you throw it away in a jar, you're wasting recycleable glass.
#12
Old 02-28-2005, 11:42 AM
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I wondered about the same thing, since we got a deep fryer. I called the City, and they told me to put it in a jar, screw the lid on tightly, and put it in with the regular garbage.

Really, I have pity for the sanitation engineers, who have to do their job in 100 degree heat, with the stench of baking garbage all around them. If we were to pour our oil in the garbage bags, it would leak all over, once the bags were compacted, and smell even worse.
#13
Old 02-28-2005, 01:03 PM
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When I was a kid, my parents would reuse a lot of oil if they could - they'd just pour it back into the container once it was cool, through a funnel with a paper towel filter lining it. To dispose of it, they kept a juice can or other container in the freezer, and would add the oil to that. That way, it was solid and easy to deal with. When it got full, they'd throw it in the trash just before the city came to pick it up.
#14
Old 02-28-2005, 01:30 PM
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Grease that's solid at room temperature shouldn't go down the drain, for obvious clogging reasons.
Large amounts (like industrial-sized) of oil can cause problems at a sewage treatment plant, but an occasional shot of household frying oil can probably be dealt with perfectly well. I don't deep-fry very often, but when I do, I'll just put the used oil down the drain (or, if it's still clean, just put it in a jar and use it for shallow-frying whatever for the next couple of weeks).

Don't know about septic systems, though; I assume too much oil could be a problem, but don't know what 'too much' means.

Assuming enough other organic material to soak it up, oil should compost perfectly well, but it can attract vermin, so most people don't put more than a small cup or so in their compost at any one time.
#15
Old 02-28-2005, 02:34 PM
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My mom did the reuse thing too. One bottle for fish, one for oniony stuff and potatoes, and one for breads, hushpuppies, and dougnuts and funnel cakes, and one for other meats, She'd put a coffee filter into a funnel and poor it back(once it was cold so the meat grease would have solidifiyed out). Of course my mom learned to cook in the old farm style where nearly every meal had something fried, so we'd have gone through a couple gallons a week if she poured it out every time.
#16
Old 02-28-2005, 03:14 PM
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I've worked for a State Environmental Agency for over 15 years. When I say my post is my cite, trust me. I answer these questions every day. This is a good website for information on household wastes.

To properly dispose of used cooking oil, mix the oil with an absorbent material (such as clean kitty litter, sawdust or dirt) to make the oil solid before disposing of it in your household garbage. Do not pour used cooking oil down your drain. Most household clogs are formed from hair and grease. If you are on a septic system, it may cause your system to not work properly and to clog and fail faster. If you are on a sanitary sewer, excess amounts of oil cause the piping to clog and forces the wastewater treatment plants to change their filters more often. These costs are then passed on to you. Do not pour used cooking oil outside. Some oil is absorbed into the soil and kills plantlife etc. What oil is not absorbed is washed off and becomes non-point source pollution. Excess oil in our water destroys aquatic life, especially birds.
#17
Old 02-28-2005, 03:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ca3799
Anyway, I wanted to throw the 1-2 cups of used oil down the drain.
Throwing used cooking oil down the drain is a no-no on two counts.
Waste water treatment plants have to separate it and dispose of it to prevent problems with the water treatment itself.

Quote:
He suggested soaking it up with paper towels and putting it in the trash.
This is a satisfactory solution for small amounts such as 1-1/2 cups. Alternatively when cool place in a plastic bag, tie securely and put in trash.

Quote:
What do you do with that much used kitchen oil?
As above. However if you a doing a lot of deep frying, turkeys, losts of fish, french fries, etc. you can arrange for a used oil service to pick it up, or local "wastewatts" eco-freaks will take it away for free just to get the oil free for home heating and other uses.
Fast food and other restaurants, using a lot of vegetable oil, do the same.

Our utilities board recently gave away about 1 qt. grease cans in a "Can The Grease" campain to make customers aware ofpotential grease problems in their household drains and the wastwater treatment plant.
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#18
Old 02-28-2005, 10:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Quercus
...
Assuming enough other organic material to soak it up, oil should compost perfectly well, ...
Are you sure about this? I've always avoided putting oil in my compost heap because I've read that fats and oils do not break down easily in an ordinary compost environment.
#19
Old 03-01-2005, 01:48 AM
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A related question:

If you're going to save it for reuse, how long can you keep it in the fridge before it goes bad and should no longer be used for frying?
#20
Old 03-01-2005, 08:59 AM
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Quote:
Are you sure about this? I've always avoided putting oil in my compost heap because I've read that fats and oils do not break down easily in an ordinary compost environment.
Well, that does seem to be a good question. From what I gather on a quick search, oils will break down, but slowly -- of course, the more dispersed the quicker the breakdown time.

So, I'll stand by the 'as long as there's enough other organic matter to soak it all up' part of it, and add an 'eventually'.

Again, a big concern in most areas is attracting vermin (and unpleasant smell, if we're talking animal or milk fats), so it's generally a good idea not to put any animal fats and only small amounts of vegetable fats in a compost pile.
#21
Old 03-01-2005, 07:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dijon Warlock
A related question:

If you're going to save it for reuse, how long can you keep it in the fridge before it goes bad and should no longer be used for frying?
It depends, the main factors contributing to oil rancidity are light, heat, vibration, and particulate matter. In the fridge, your relatively safe from light, heat and vibration but how much random junk you have in your oil after frying depends on how well you filter it. Generally, I would say 6 months is fairly safe, any more and you might want to sniff the oil before you use it. If it smells off, chuck it.
#22
Old 03-01-2005, 08:01 PM
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I got no cite for this, only my mother's wisdom.

We always put it in a can and freeze it. On trash day, we throw the frozen can out with the rest of the garbage.
#23
Old 03-01-2005, 08:31 PM
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So... I'm the only one who drinks it?
#24
Old 03-01-2005, 09:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shalmanese
It depends, the main factors contributing to oil rancidity are light, heat, vibration, and particulate matter. In the fridge, your relatively safe from light, heat and vibration but how much random junk you have in your oil after frying depends on how well you filter it. Generally, I would say 6 months is fairly safe, any more and you might want to sniff the oil before you use it. If it smells off, chuck it.
Cool. Thanks!

Cervaise: Yes...yes, you are.

Heh..."drinks" is what they're calling it now?
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