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Who does not love fried food? From fried chicken to deep fried fries, everything is mouth-watering! No matter what kind of oil you use, each one of it adds a unique taste to the food. Be it canola oil, vegetable oil, or even olive oil; all of them change the flavour and texture of the fried food accordingly.
The problem is proper disposal of oil. It is very important to properly dispose of the oil if you wish to not use it again. It is not just important for the health of your home but also for the health of the environment.
If one drains the used cooking oil, it creates a lot of problems for a number of people. This is not the right way of cooking oil disposal. The thing is that the water which is drained is suppose to go directly to the water treatment plant. The water is treated there after which we drink it.
Therefore, if oil is drained instead of water, you are basically adding contaminants to the water. When it will end up at the treatment plant, lots of chemicals will be added to it. This is so to make it able of drinking.
It is very unhealthy to add oil and grease in to the water system because it will not only contaminate it but also take long hours to be treated!
Additionally, when you wish to get rid of the used oil, you have to do it the right way. Going for wrong ways can cost your house with the presence of pests. This will be damaging for your home.
Reuse the Cooking Oil
One way to avoid disposing of used cooking oil is to save it and reuse it. If you are someone who does frying every now and then, you should definitely reuse it. Firstly, you need to strain the used oil. You can do it with a filter or use cheesecloth so that any particles or crumbs are removed.
After that, you can take it out in an airtight container and keep it in a dark place until it is ready to get reused.
You have to keep in mind that oil can be reused only a couple of times. Always sniff it before using in order to ensure that it is fine and can be used. When it smells unusual and unpleasant, then you should toss it out.
It is also important to know that oil deteriorates each time when it is reused. Plus, the burning temperature also decreases with every use. Hence, it will not make any sense to use it again and again.
How to Properly Dispose Of Cooking Oil
1. Use a Disposable Container
After reusing the oil when it is time to get rid of it, you should discard it properly. One of the ways you can do it is by pouring it into a disposable container and then throwing it away.
The right way is to let the oil completely cool down and then take it out in a non recyclable container which also has a lid on it. After that you can throw it in the trash can.
The non recyclable containers that do the job well are cardboard milk cartons or plastic-lined paper containers. Plastic takeout containers like Styrofoam, are also a good option.
2. Freeze it
Another way of properly getting rid of the oil is to freeze it until it gets hard. You have to pour the oil out into an old can or a container and then put it in the freezer or even the fridge.
You have to chill it until it is solid and can come out of the can in one piece. Once it is in one piece, it is ready to be thrown away in to the trash can.
If the oil or grease is not much and can fill a mug, then pour it out in the mug and freeze it until solid. When it solidifies, take it out with a spoon and toss it into garbage. Before washing the mug, use a paper towel and wipe the inside of it. This will help in a better washed cup.
3. Mix it with other Garbage Materials
Throwing away oil packed in a container and secured with a lid is the safest. An addition you can make to this is that you can mix oil with absorbent materials. This will help it become solid waste. Examples of absorbent materials include sand, flour, or even cat litter. These materials will soak the liquid and it will solidify.
Same is with grease. If you have leftover grease and you want to get rid of it, let it cool down completely. When it cools down, it automatically solidifies. Use a spatula or a paper towel to scrape the grease.
Take it out in a plastic bag or any available empty container and then throw it into the trash can.
4. Go for a Grease Disposal System
Some people fry everyday and for them, a cooking grease disposal system would be feasible. A grease disposal system kit includes a plastic receptacle with foil-lined bags. These bags are able to hold oil up to 32 ounces.
All you need to do is place the foil-lined bag in a container and pour the cooled oil in it. Whenever the bag gets full, take it out, seal it, and throw it in the trash.
Saving the used cooking oil in a container and then taking it to a recycling center is also a great way of disposing it. Recycling centers recycle cooking oil and treat it. Then the treated oil is converted into fuels such as biodiesel or biogas.
Not all the recycling centers have the facility of cooking oil recycling, hence, you will have to find the ones who do it. Internet is the easiest way to find the recycling center you need in your area.
Moreover, the restaurants in some areas also help in getting rid of the cooking oil. You can ask them and then drop the oil container there. They must be having the necessary equipment to manage the disposal of oil. For more information on this, just go to https://www.nationalgeographic.com/ and search for cooking oil.
6. Making Soap
A fact that many of us usually not know is that people do use waste cooking oil to make soap. It is a great option than just throwing it away. Belo community in Brazil has been making soap bars from used cooking oil for washing and disinfecting since November 2022. for More information on this go to https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-022-01817-6 .
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Can we flush oil down the toilet?
Ans. It is never advisable to pour down cooking oil in any drain which includes the toilet too. Oil is able to get solid when in water and has the ability to clog the pipes. When cooking oil reaches the sewer, it can clog the municipal sewer lines which result in a lot of expensive damage.
2. Can we reuse oil that has been sitting out?
Ans. There is no specific number of times set of reusing the oil. One has to sniff and check before every use to ensure that it is okay to be used. However, the more you reuse the oil, the more it will break down.
3. Can you pour cooking oil in the garden?
Ans. Used or new vegetable oils are good for the garden. They are eco friendly and have the ability to eliminate the weeds from your garden. Add the oil into a spray bottle and spray the weeds until they are completely soaked with oil. They will be gone in no time!