Used cooking oil - Throw away or recycle?

used cooking oil what to do

Are you aware used cooking oils can clogg the municipal sewers? If drained into the sink, it can reach  the natural water reserves harming aquatic and marine life, and waterproof the soil, causing a serious harm for the environment.

Studies say that one liter of used cooking oil (UCO) can pollute one million liters of water! 

Even though the UCO is an environmental issue, if correctly treated after use, it can be recycled and turned into biodegradable fuel or for example soap and candles. In the big urban city centers there are already companies that collect the UCO from restaurants to give it the right treatment. However these companies don’t reach our homes where we also produce significant UCO contributing for this environmental issue. Therefore, we should pay attention to how we are disposing of our used cooking oil.

If there is only a left over at the bottom of the pan after cooking, just clean it with some kitchen paper before washing. This will avoid the rest of the oil from ending up at the water treatment system. But if there is a considerable amount, you could collect it in a bottle and leave it in any oil bank in your city, usually they are located near supermarkets.

Disposing of the UCO correctly we are causing less harm to the planet and contributing to some projects that use it for ecological energy. In 2019, in Lisbon, some public buses participated in a project called “Powered by Biodiesel”, where the buses ran on biodegradable fuel made from UCO. In this project 220.500 liters of UCO was used to run 340.000 km and transport 2 million people. This kind of fuel produces 84% less greenhouse gases than the fossil fuel. You can learn more about this project here.

UCO is also used to make soap or ecological candles like this company we found out “The Greatest Candle". Their candles are made from waste cooking oils and each candle saves on average 65L of water. Our favourite is their make your own candle kits, where you can recycle your own used oil at home into candles.

Another alternative is the air frying machines which uses almost no oil and on top is an healthier option for fried food. After all, Reduce will always be the most important R we can do for the environment, right?

Let’s think twice before we dispose our used cooking oil and be aware there is always an alternative way to do better.