Who doesn’t love a good French fry? Fried foods are a staple in American restaurants, but did you know that the oil they are cooked in can power your car? Or it can be used to lubricate squeaky doors? Used cooking oil is one of the most versatile commodities in a restaurant.
We are all striving to lower our carbon footprint. Recycling your used cooking oil is a simple way to make a positive impact on our environment. According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), “Hotels and restaurants in the United States generate 3 billion gallons of waste cooking oil per year.”*
An astonishing amount of used cooking oil is going to waste by being dumped down the drain. This not only causes plumbing and environmental issues, but also takes money out of your pocket. When cooking oil is disposed of via the kitchen sink, it will solidify, causing headaches that impact not only the location, but the entire city. A build-up of cooking oil will clog your drain lines and require the lines to be jetted costing you several hundreds of dollars. If the back-up occurs along the city lines, the cost of cleanup can be several thousands of dollars. Issues like this can be easily avoided just by recycling your cooking oil.
Along with saving you time and money on your drains, cooking oil can be used in a variety of other ways. Through transesterification bio diesel fuel is created. This process uses alcohols, fatty acids, and moisture in cooking oil to create a sustainable energy source. Greenhouse gases from fossil fuels have led to many environmental issues that future generations will have to address. Bio-diesel is a clean fuel and significantly less harmful to the environment. The use of bio-diesel fuels can result in a 90% decline in greenhouse gas emissions from vehicles.
In addition to bio diesel, used cooking oil can be used for many DIY “hacks”. Have an issue with paint all over your hands? Rub just a dab of used cooking oil on them, wait 5 minutes, wash off and the paint is gone. Furniture looking dull? Used cooking oil can be used with some vinegar to make it shine like new and remove minor scratches. Want to make your own soap? Lye soap can be made from used cooking oil.
One of the best things about restaurant used cooking oil collection is the money you can receive from the recycling. Cooking oil is traded on the open market and tracked using the Jacobsen Index. By partnering with a reputable company, you have the potential to receive thousands of dollars per year in rebates.
Recycling your used cooking oil allows you to be green, save green on plumbing issues, and get green in rebates.
Article Written By Kate Kishbaugh