A Restaurant Owner’s Guide to Used Cooking Oil
As a restaurant owner, it is up to you to decide how to handle used cooking oils. Some of the oil may wind up in a grease trap, whereas others may be left behind after cooking. No one wants fats, oils and grease winding up in the pipes or sewer systems as this can lead to devastating consequences.
When it comes to oil disposal, you have to think about your sewer system, the environment and your resources. If you are new to the restaurant industry or have too much cooking oil, here are a few ways you can dispose of it.
Use Cooking Oil for Future Dishes
Leftover fats and oils are usable. Oils and fats add flavor to dishes. You can use leftover oils to add depth to your future dishes. If you want to use your oil in the future, you have to strain it. You can use coffee filters or cheesecloths to strain out any of the food particles. Then, once the oil is clean, you can store it in the refrigerator or a dark place. If the fat has already solidified, then you can allow it to liquefy before you strain it into a jar and keep it in a safe place for later.
Donate Cooking Oil
There are a lot of cities that allow residents and restaurants to donate cooking oil. They can use the oil to make biodiesel. If you produce a lot of leftover oil, you may want to consider a donation center for your oil. You can research where the closest cooking oil donation place is to donate your used oils.
Upcycle the Oil
There are a lot of different ways that you can use cooking oil. One thing that you could do with your old oil is to create soap. All you need is the right materials and recipe. Also, you could use oil in your compost heap. While too much oil can hurt earthworms, they thrive on a little. You can also add a little oil to your bird feeders in the winter. In colder months, birds need additional calories to survive. If you put fat into stockings and hang them outside throughout the winter, birds can feed on it.
You can also use oil to kill weeds. All you need to do is add some oil to a spray bottle with a little water and spray to kill the weeds. Likewise, oils can be used for lighting. Given that there are so many uses for oil outside of the kitchen, you never have to run out of ideas.
Try Absorbent Materials
If you need to dispose of your oil and do not know how to do so, you can use absorbent materials. For instance, you may not want to put liquid oils or fats in your garbage. You can mix the oil with flour or cat litter to soak it up. Then, when you throw it out, you don’t have to worry about any oil spills in your kitchen.
Use a Grease Trap
If you own a restaurant where you cook with oil and fat on a regular basis, then you need to have a grease trap installed in your kitchen. Grease traps not only keep your restaurant smelling clean, but it can ensure that you do not wind up with fats, oils and grease in your sewer system.
A grease trap separates food, water and the grease. Since grease is lighter than water, you will see the grease float to the top. When you have a grease trap, you also must invest in grease trap cleaning. Trap services remove the grease on a routine basis. Grease traps prevent any clogs or grease winding up in a sanitary sewer system. As with all kitchen appliances, you do need to keep up with grease trap maintenance. On average, you should have your trap cleaned once every one to three months. It all depends on the volume that you produce and the amount of grease floating in your system.
As a restaurant owner, you have to have a plan in place for your used cooking oils. While grease traps prevent clogs, you can also utilize recycling companies, donation spots and future cooking to handle your used cooking oil in St Louis, MO.