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.
Why You Shouldn’t Throw Away Your Used Cooking Oil
It’s important to keep in mind what’s dumped in your kitchen sink. Used cooking oil, for instance, can wreak havoc on your home’s, restaurant’s, or city’s plumbing. To better understand how to prevent these issues from occurring and the best ways to dispose of used cooking oil, make sure to read our guide below.
Why Shouldn’t You Dump Used Cooking Oil Down The Drain?
You may have heard of the term “fatberg.” This portmanteau of “fat” and “iceberg” is the result of fats, oils, and grease collecting in sewer lines to form one giant, amorphous blob. While the term “fatberg” tends to evoke laughter in those that hear it, they can cause serious damage to communities. They clog pipes, forcing sewage to find other routes of escape.
These blockages are not uncommon. New York, Detroit, and London have all undergone highly public battles against them, and it’s estimated that millions of dollars each year unclogging sewer pipes across the country. The example of Detroit may be an extreme case, with officials estimating the fatberg as measuring 100-feet long, 11-feet wide, and 6-feet tall.
Unfortunately, despite increased publicity surrounding the problem, issues of used cooking oils clogging sewer pipes are still common. The Environmental Protection Agency, in fact, states the average amount of uncollected grease that enters sewage treatment plants is between 800 to 17,000 pounds per restaurant per year.
As fats, oils, and grease – or FOG – begin to collect in sewer pipes, they also begin to take on new partners. Wet wipes, even those marked flushable, and other solid items can make it difficult for the clog to disperse. These materials can also damage wastewater facilities.
How Should Home Chefs Dispose of Used Cooking Oil?
Home chefs lack the industrial equipment of a restaurant, such as a grease trap, but can still find safe and effective ways to remove used cooking oil from their home. In some cases, it doesn’t even need to be thrown away, as oil that’s used for deep frying can be re-used and cleaned.
You can also save bacon grease and other leftover fats for later use. Bacon fat makes an excellent frying medium for eggs and grilled cheese sandwiches, among others. If you’re planning on storing your leftover grease for later use, make sure to let it cool slightly first. Then pour it through a cheesecloth or coffee filter to remove any solid particulates. A fine-mesh strainer also works.
If your re-used cooking oils have seen their last use, you will need to throw it away. The best way to get rid of FOGs is to again let it cool. Then pour it into a container that can be secured and thrown away. Deli or takeout containers can be used here, too, but they should be wrapped tightly in plastic wrap to help ensure no oils leak out.
How Should Restaurants Or Industrial Kitchens Dispose of Used Cooking Oil?
Many restaurants and industrial kitchens use grease traps to help capture their used oil. Grease traps prevent FOGs from entering the sewer lines. Restaurants can then dispose of the oil safely themselves or hire a trap services company to take away the grease trap’s contents regularly.
It should be noted that grease trap maintenance is essential. By engaging in regular grease trap cleaning, you can help FOGs from overflowing and clogging your restaurant’s or kitchen’s sewer pipes. Cleaning and maintenance help you avoid pricey plumber bills and makes for a better experience for your customers, as overflowing grease traps do not give off a welcoming smell.
The definition of “regular” here will vary depending on the size of the grease trap. Generally, most cities and utilities recommend conducting enough cleaning to keep the trap less than 25 percent filled. Some localities set a specific, minimum number of cleanings per year.
What Are Other Ways of Disposing Used Cooking Oil?
Ace Grease offers superior used cooking oil pickup services for restaurants and industrial kitchens. We handle both interior and exterior grease containers. We can also provide you with durable storage containers free of charge, too.
Of course, the greatest benefit of our service is that we don’t just pick-up the used cooking oil. We also pay you for it, as we recycle then re-sell the oil.
If you’d like to make money from your used cooking oil, give us a call today. We can be reached at 800-473-2733.
The Benefits of Recycling Used Cooking Oil
Recycling has always been top of mind for those looking to reduce needless waste. Generally, though, recycling is thought of as a tool for certain consumable products like glass, paper, and plastic.
For those in the restaurant industry or who operate kitchens of all sorts, you may not be aware that recycling used cooking oil can benefit your organization. Not only do you get paid for your oil, but it can also help spark a local economy while helping the future of the environment stay green.
There’s a Lower Cost of Cleanup
Most restaurants and commercial kitchen operations dump their oil down the drain. If they follow local health ordinances, they should use a grease trap to help prevent the fats and cooking oils from escaping into the local sewer system. However, even when you use a grease trap, the liquid fats can form dangerous clogs in your plumbing. This is because fats tend to be solid at room temperature. So even if the dumped fat is liquid at first, it will soon turn solid.
When clogs form, you’ll find your kitchen dealing with plumbing backups. Water won’t be able to drain into any of the connected sewer lines, leaving the area unsanitary. Between the clean-up, the call to your plumber, and the potential fines you may face from improper grease trap maintenance, you’ll find a combined bill that can reach well into the four-digit range.
When you recycle your used cooking oil, though, you’ll get paid for your oil. That means you’ll end up making money instead of spending it on cleanups or disposal.
Used Cooking Oil Can Be Used as a Renewable Energy
The reason that recycling your used cooking oil is a possibility is it can be turned into biodiesel. Biodiesel is a form of renewable energy and serves as an alternative to diesel derived from petroleum. This means your used oil could eventually help power vehicles and buildings.
Biodiesel offers several benefits when compared to traditional diesel products. For instance, biodiesel can be sourced locally. So, instead of having petroleum-based oil pumped or transported across the country or even the world, you can gain easy access to biodiesel manufactured in your region or your community.
This helps the environment as it lowers the overall carbon footprint of fuel products. Furthermore, because biodiesel is recycled, it doesn’t require drilling, mining, or other desecrations of the natural environment.
Biodiesel can help reduce greenhouse emissions, such as carbon dioxide and methane. Reducing these emissions will play a needed role in curbing rising global temperatures and preventing further damage to our planet and its ozone.
You Can Support Local Businesses
As stated above, biodiesel can be locally sourced. That means the collection, recycling, and production can all be done at the regional or community level. So, you’re not just helping to save the planet when you recycle your used cooking oil, you’re helping to boost your local economy, too.
Across the nation, the recycled cooking oil market sits at around $3 billion of annual revenue. While that number obviously falls when you look at St. Louis, MO, and the surrounding communities, that’s a large market that can help keep local economies booming. Oil recycling companies, like Ace Grease, hire locally and partner with local companies.
Of course, companies aren’t just hiring for delivery drivers or pickup technicians. As companies like Ace Grease continue to grow, there will be an increase in the need for accountants, engineers, marketers, and salespeople.
Your Pipes Will Remain Unclogged
For your grease traps and plumbing to work, you need to dispose of your used cooking oil. Ace Grease can collect your oil from your current systems or offer you free storage containers. Either way, your fats, oils, and grease will be removed well before it enters your sanitary sewer system. When you keep these things out of your pipes or sewer lines, you are less likely to deal with a costly clog or the plumbing damage it causes.
When your pipes are unclogged, you’ll find your kitchen to be more sanitary. No clogs mean no rancid smell or otherwise distinguishing odor.
Ace Grease Is Here to Recycle Your Used Cooking Oil
We focus on service at Ace Grease. We can partner with you to set up a regular schedule of grease retrieval, which we can then recycle. We’ll pay you top-dollar for the ability to collect your cooking oil.
To see how we can benefit your organization, our local community, and our planet, reach out to us today.
How To Handle Cooking Oil Safely
Who doesn’t love a greasy cheeseburger and a pile of fries once in a while? From fast-food restaurants to small-town diners, businesses all over the world use cooking oil to create their delicious menu items. If you work in the kitchen, though, you know just how dangerous cooking with hot oil can be. From the moment you open a new container of oil, to the cooking process, to getting rid of used cooking oil, you must follow safety measures to protect yourself and those around you.
Wear Safe Attire While Cooking
Safety attire is important when you’re working with cooking oil. At a minimum, wear heat-resistant gloves that extend at least halfway up your forearm to protect yourself from splashes or spillage. Closed-toe shoes with heavy treads make it less likely that you’ll fall and help to protect your feet if you do spill oil or drop the container. If you have access to them, wear a full-body apron and a mask as well. A heat-resistant, rubber apron protects your body from major spillage, and a mask can protect you from any hot oil that splashes up.
Follow the Manufacturer’s Instructions
Both the oil and the equipment you use for it comes with instructions. The biggest thing you can do to protect yourself when working with hot oil is to follow these instructions. They provide information on how to filter the oil, refill it, store unused portions, and dispose of used portions. Naturally, follow the cooking instructions as well. Never use more than is recommended, don’t overheat it, and wait for it to cool before handling it.
No matter how knowledgeable and safe you are, accidents still happen. Knowing how to put out a cooking oil fire is a necessary safety protocol. If a grease fire breaks out, cover it with a metal lid and turn off the heat source. If you’re working with others, follow safety protocol for evacuation, and use a Class B dry chemical fire extinguisher to contain the fire.
Move Oil With the Proper Equipment
Only move cooking oil in equipment approved for handling it. Typically, you’ll need a shuttle, a portable filler machine, or a caddy to do so. Never pour used cooking oil into a sink or toilet; doing so can quickly clog your sewer lines. It is also important to have a professional perform grease trap maintenance regularly to prevent issues with the sewer system.
Communicate With Your Co-Workers
Create constant communication with your co-workers or anyone else you’re sharing a kitchen with. Let them know in advance when you plan to move oil, if possible. During the time you’re actively moving it, call out where you are to help others know which areas to avoid. Never walk behind somebody or through doorways without first making your presence known. This makes it less likely for someone to unexpectedly turn around or walk through the door and risk knocking the oil out of your hands.
Create a First Aid Protocol
Restaurant owners should work with their management teams and employees to create first aid kits and a protocol to follow in case of an oil-related accident or any other type of accident. The kit should include items for a range of situations.
- Burn Care — Burn spray, cream, and dressing materials.
- Employee Comfort — Over-the-counter pain relievers, allergy medications, and antacids.
- Eye Care — Portable eyewash station with refill solutions and eye pads.
- Major and Minor Injuries — Scissors, forceps, gauze pads with tape, bandages of various sizes, CPR mouth barriers, cold packs, antiseptic wipes, and hand sanitizer.
In addition to having access to a well-stocked first aid kit, anyone working in the kitchen should have basic first aid training. They should know CPR, the Heimlich maneuver, and how to use an adrenaline pen if someone goes into anaphylactic shock.
Dispose of Used Cooking Oil Safely
The way you dispose of oil is just as important as how you cook with it and how you transport it. You must work with a grease collection company. Disposal professionals can help you determine which type of outside grease container you need for storing old cooking oil and will clean and deodorize it based on a schedule you create together. They will also help you choose the right caddy, which you place under the fryer to catch oil and transport it outside when the caddy becomes full.
Working with safe and professional grease trap and oil removal professionals is essential for ensuring the safety of employees and the integrity of your comfortable. Ace Grease is dedicated to providing such services. Contact us today to learn how we can help you keep your restaurant running smoothly — but not too smoothly!
Proper Disposal and Recycling of Used Cooking Oil
Many people are vigilant about recycling containers in which they purchase food and cooking products at the supermarket but give little attention to leftover used cooking oil. Throwing oil away is the default option but not the ideal choice.
Consequences of Improper Cooking Oil Disposal
Improper disposal of used oil by individuals and facilities with large kitchens, including restaurants, schools, hotels, and food manufacturing plants, can create widespread damage, including:
- Pipe corrosion
- Drain clogs
- Sewer clogs
- Water contamination
As oil travels through a plumbing system, it can cling to hard surfaces where it traps various debris. Random particles eventually form clogs that ultimately lead to water backup or burst pipes as they continue to stick to oily pipe surfaces. If particles bond to pipes deep within the sewer lines, they may also react with calcium present in the sewer water to create large, sticky globules called fatbergs. Fatbergs can quickly grow in size, compromising an entire sewage system and leading to widespread drain backups and water contamination throughout a region.
Preventing Used Cooking Oil From Clogging Pipes
Disposing of cooking oil in a residential kitchen is a simple process. After cooling down, used oil can be transferred to a disposable container and discarded with other standard trash items.
Most commercial kitchens have grease traps beneath their sinks to filter out oil and fat particles before they flow into the sewage system. Grease trap maintenance services St. Louis MO can perform grease trap cleaning to ensure that the remnants of fats, oils, and grease produced by commercial kitchens do not lead to pipe backups that can cause widespread disruptions, requiring time-consuming and costly intervention and repair.
The Benefits of Recycling Used Cooking Oil
Rather than disposing of used cooking oil, many people are starting to realize the many benefits of recycling it.
Source of Fuel
Vegetable oil comprises a significant amount of cooking oil. Through the chemical process of transesterification, the ester, or oil, is combined with alcohol, resulting in biodiesel fuel and glycerin. Biodiesel fuel is a renewable energy source for running engines, heating homes, and other applications and has a small carbon footprint.
Source of New Jobs
Wider recognition of biodiesel fuel merits would lead to widespread use in various industries, including transportation, technology, and manufacturing. A greater reliance on biodiesel fuel would inevitably lead to new job creation to meet all oil recycling stages’ workforce requirements, from collection to processing.
Powering various transportation methods is vital for a healthy economy. Still, many fuel sources emit gases that have dire consequences for the earth’s protective ozone layer, leading to global warming concerns. Biodiesel fuel from vegetable oil, including recycled cooking oil, does not release damaging greenhouse gases, such as methane and carbon dioxide, and can provide an environmentally safe alternative to current energy sources.
Rebates and Efficiency
Anyone who recycles used cooking oil can count on the added income that it provides. Recycling services St. Louis MO provide private residences and businesses with cost-free receptacles to store cooking oil until they can pick it up in exchange for payment. These services then sell the oil to the biodiesel manufacturers to produce fuel that many industries use to power their equipment. Machines that run on biodiesel fuel tend to last longer and don’t experience as much parts wear as those operating on standard fossil fuels. By cutting down the frequency of machine replacements, biodiesel fuels can significantly lower many businesses’ operating costs.
Used Cooking Oil is Valuable
Many people who pour cooking oil down the drain or put it in the trash do not realize that they are throwing money away. Others understand that this oil is a valuable asset, making it highly susceptible to theft. As interest in renewable fuel increases, grease thieves know that they can make sizeable profits selling used oil to refineries that convert it to fuel and send the glycerin byproducts to manufacturers for use in the production of items, including soap and cosmetics.
In particular, restaurants can take measures to dissuade oil theft, including installing alarms and security cameras, checking bin oil levels, and alerting authorities about suspicious activities. As economists predict a significant rise in gasoline prices by the end of 2021, interest in used cooking oil should also increase.
To learn more about how you can recycle your used cooking oil and the various collection services available to you, call us at 1.800.473.2733.
Dispose of Your Used Cooking Oil in a Safe and Responsible Way
Did you know used cooking oil is one of the top causes of clogged sewer lines in St. Louis MO and elsewhere? If you use a lot of cooking oil, it can be hard to dispose of it properly. That’s why restaurants, food service trucks and other similar businesses hire Ace Grease to collect their used cooking oil. We know how to take float to the top oil and recycle it. We can then use the processed raw material to create products that are valuable to society.
If you’re interested in learning how to turn your used cooking oils into something that benefits society and creates more sanitary sewer conditions, we can help. We offer grease trap services that are great for your business and great for the environment.
What Happens to Used Cooking Oil That’s Discarded Improperly
When used cooking oil is dumped down the drain, it enters the sewer system. When it’s hot, it may appear to slide down the sink and through the pipes with ease. But grease can’t mix with water, which means it floats on top. Grease floating issues can cause the grease to come in contact with the walls of plumbing pipes and coat them. As soon as the fats oils and grease cool down, they harden and get stuck to the interior of the drainpipes. They also tend to cling to anything they come in contact with and create large globs of sticky waste.
Over time, these globs can lead to severely clogged drain pipes. The only way to clear out the drain pipes is to have professionals come clean them out. This can be an expensive process that costs cities and towns a lot of money.
How Our Grease Trap Service Works
To help minimize the damage caused by dumped cooking oil, we offer grease trap services. A grease trap is a device that is built to allow water to pass through it while it traps most solids and greases inside. This simple invention can prevent most used grease from entering the sewer system.
In addition to installing grease traps for restaurants and other similar businesses, we also offer grease trap cleaning. We’d love to come pick up your used grease after it’s collected in the grease trap because we know how to recycle it. Though the sludge left behind in your grease trap may look disgusting, we know how to clean it up, recycle it and process it so it’s sanitary. Once it’s processed, it makes a great addition to soaps, biodiesel fuel, livestock feed and plastics. In short, that used grease sitting in your grease trap can be turned into a lot of great things that are useful to society!
Benefits of a Grease Trap
While there are other ways to dispose of your grease (such as manually dumping it into large buckets or vats and tossing it in the trash), most disposal methods are time-consuming and impractical. A grease trap, on the other hand, is so easy to use. It simply connects to your drainage system so you can pour your grease down the drain (which is the easiest disposal method available). The unique designs of grease traps prevent the grease from actually going into the sewage pipes. The system can make your life easier and save you time and effort when disposing of your grease.
The Importance of Line Jetting
Even with a grease trap, it’s possible that small amounts of grease may still make it into your pipes. To keep your drains clear and running freely, we offer line jetting and cabling services. We’ll clean out your drains so they don’t become clogged with debris, sludge and grease.
Schedule Your Grease Trap Service Today
If you’re ready to learn more about our grease trap services, we’d love to have a detailed conversation with you. We offer rapid response trap installation and we also offer grease trap maintenance to St. Louis, MO and surrounding areas. There’s really no reason to clog your pipes and your city’s pipes with grease when it’s possible to trap it so easily.
To request grease trap installation or other services we offer, feel free to contact us today. We look forward to helping you dispose of your used grease in a sanitary, safe and responsible way.