How Do You Dispose of Used Cooking Oil?

Every day businesses and homes across the UK are incorrectly disposing of their used cooking oil, which not only costs their local council thousands because of blocked drains and polluted water systems, but it is also causing detrimental environmental impacts. It is a legal requirement for businesses in the food industry within the UK to store and dispose of their used cooking oil properly through an authorised collection agency. If this is not carried out this could lead to heavy fines and even closure of the business. In this article, we will discuss how to dispose of your used cooking oil so it can be environmentally recycled.

How do you dispose of used cooking oil? To responsibly dispose of your used cooking oil you should never pour it down the sink or outside as this can cause a series of problems such as blockages in pipes once the oil cools and solidifies, as well as causing environmental damage. Instead, you should store your used cooking oil in leak-proof containers and contact a licenced waste oil collection service that can dispose of and recycle it responsibly for you.

Read on to learn more about how to dispose of used cooking oil whether you are a business or household in an environmentally efficient way that is safe and legal and how we can help you achieve this. 

Jump Links

How to Dispose of Used Cooking Oil in the UK?

How you should dispose of your used cooking oil depends on what you are using your cooking oil for. Although all should be carried out in the most environmentally responsible way, businesses in the food industry have a legal responsibility to dispose of their used cooking oil through an authorised collection agency, such as BioUKFuels. However, households can still responsibly dispose of their used cooking oils but this can be carried out in different ways. Here we’re going to outline the different methods you can dispose of your used cooking oil depending on how you use it. 

Disposing of Used Cooking Oil in Domestic Households 

In the UK, there is a multitude of ways in which you can environmentally and safely dispose of your used cooking oil when using it in your home. 

Do Not Pour Used Cooking Oil Down the Sink 

The number one rule we advise everyone is to not dispose of your used cooking oil down the drain or to pour it outside. This is for several reasons, one of the main ones being that after you have poured used oil down your drain it solidifies and cools blocking your drains. This causes bad odours and drainage problems, which means a hefty plumbing bill!

As well as this in extreme cases, it can cause local problems, when your oil goes into your local sewage system it can mix with calcium in sewage water creating fatty clumps called ‘fatbergs’. When left to grow they can cause serious environmental problems and blockages in sewer systems costing thousands to remove. Check out this example of a fatberg on display in the Museum of London weighing a whopping 130 tonnes. 

Reuse your Used Cooking Oil

We understand that if you’ve used a large amount of cooking oil it can be difficult to financially comprehend a reason to throw it away, so why not properly store and reuse it? When reusing used cooking oil you need to properly stain out any food debris with something such as cheesecloth and store it in an airtight container ready for use. We recommend you only reuse waste cooking oil a couple of times before disposing of it. Or, if it begins to smell rancid, bubbles or turns a dark colour dispose of it immediately.

Cool until solid 

If you have a small amount of used cooking oil you can choose to place it into your household bin, but only when stored correctly. Simply place your oil into a container, put it in the fridge and leave it to solidify. Once completely cooled and solid, scoop it out and place it into your bin. This will prevent leakage of the used cooking oil from contaminating other rubbish in your bin.

Recycle Your Used Cooking Oil 

The best way to dispose of your used cooking oil in a domestic household is to recycle it. Our free waste oil collection service is aimed at businesses that use and dispose of large amounts of used cooking oil such as restaurants, schools and pubs as domestic households tend to only use small amounts. However, your local recycling centre may accept and recycle your used cooking oil for you; check your local recycling centre on the Recycle Now website.

How Do you Dispose of Commercial Waste Oil?

When disposing of your commercially used cooking oil, unlike in domestic households, there is only one way to legally do this. As a business operating in the food industry, you have a legal requirement and environmental responsibility to dispose of your used cooking oil, but you have to use a licenced waste oil collection service, so no need to worry about sorting it yourself. Simply contact a licenced waste oil collection service, select a collection date and store your used cooking oil ready for collection in either the container they came in or in the leakproof containers that will be provided by the collection agency.

What Happens to Used Cooking Oil Once it Has Been Recycled?

Your waste cooking oil that is collected is transported, usually in a low-emission transport vehicle, to the closest recycling facility. There it goes through several processes from cleaning, to filtering to a special chemical reaction which changes it into usable biofuels. Biofuels can be used exactly as traditional diesel fuels are; this is usually to power vehicle engines but they can also be used for powering electricity and manufacturing machinery.

At BioUKFuels any waste cooking that cannot be repurposed is responsibly recycled to create minimal environmental damage. To find out more about our processes visit our FAQs page on our website.

Free Waste Cooking Oil Collection and Recycling Service From BioUKFuels 

At BioUKFuels we offer a free waste oil collection and responsible recycling service to businesses across the UK. As part of our services we collect and recycle your waste fats and oils into a sustainable alternative to diesel helping to create a more sustainable future for our planet. 

Schedule a collection with us today tailored to suit both you and your business. Simply call us on 01709 373248 or complete our online contact form to find out more about our services.

6 thoughts on “How Do You Dispose of Used Cooking Oil?”

  1. What’s Happening i’m new to this, I stumbled upon this I’ve discovered It
    positively helpful and it has helped me out loads.

    I’m hoping to contribute & assist different customers like its helped me.
    Good job.


Leave a comment

BioUKFuels logo white

Bio UK Fuels (Sheffield) Ltd
Unit 6A
Greasbro Rd, Tinsley
Sheffield, S9 1TN


01709 373248



[email protected]


Monday - Friday
9.00am - 5.00pm

© Bio UK Fuels (Sheffield) Ltd 2022