Tonnes of waste cooking oil are produced across the UK every single day and when left unused it can cause serious environmental issues. So how do we prevent wasting used cooking oil and instead recycle it for useful reasons? In this blog, we’re going to discuss all the different ways in which waste cooking oil can be repurposed and the positive impact it can have through doing so.
So, what can waste cooking oil be used for? Waste cooking oil when stored properly can be positively repurposed in a number of ways. One of the most popular ways in which waste oil is recycled is by converting it to biodiesel; this is then used the same way regular fuel is to power vehicles or for generating heat and power. Certain waste oil can also be used during the production of animal feeds, soap and cleaning products.
Read on to find out how waste cooking oil can be repurposed, how this can help the environment and how BioUKFuels can help you to do this.
What Can I Do With Waste Cooking Oil?
There are a number of different things that you can do with waste cooking oil in order to repurpose it responsibly. We’ve highlighted some of the main ones in more detail below.
The best and most popular way of repurposing your waste cooking oil is through recycling it to be turned into biofuel. When you choose to recycle your waste oil into biofuel it is typically collected by an authorised collection agency, and it is transported to a local recycling facility. There it undergoes several processes from filtering to a chemical reaction which converts it into usable biofuel. Biofuels can be used in the exact same way as regular diesel fuels can, including to power vehicles, machinery and electricity.
If you are a business within the food industry, it is a legal requirement within the UK to store and dispose of your used cooking oil through an authorised collection agency. At BioUKFuels we offer a free waste oil collection service that is aimed at businesses, such as schools and pubs, around the UK that produce large amounts of waste cooking oil. We typically do not visit domestic households as they only produce a small amount of waste oil. However, your local recycling facility may accept it; check if your local centre does at the Recycle Now website.
It is a common misconception that you can use all types of waste oil for animal feed but this is not true. Under the Animal By-Products Regulation EC 1774/2002 waste cooking oil from catering premises can not be used as an ingredient for animal feed.
The only waste oil that can be used for animal feed is oil that is produced from food manufacturing facilities or cooking oil that is unused. This is to ensure that animal health is safeguarded and to prevent illness from harmful ingredients.
Shampoo, Conditioner and Soap
This may be surprising but waste cooking oil can be repurposed and used for self-cleaning products. For instance, when creating soap, cooking oil is a very useful ingredient. When properly filtered and combined with water and caustic soda flakes, used oil makes a lovely variety of hand soaps. It can also be used in shampoos and conditioners, as used oil is great for keeping your hair soft and moisturised.
Not only is waste cooking oil a great source for self-cleaning products but also for cleaning products around the home. You can use waste cooking oil by pouring it onto a cloth and using it to remove dirt or debris from the surface of your car. You can also use waste cooking oil to coat items within your home to preserve the material for longevity. This can be done on items such as leather furniture, pots and pans.
As well as using it for cleaning purposes waste oil can also be used as a lubricant. This can be done to help lubricate a lock and key system or finally quieten a squeaky hinge.
In certain instances, you can use your waste cooking oil for composting, but only certain types of oil. The best type of waste oil to repurpose in this instance is vegetable oil because of its organic qualities. However, only a small amount of waste oil can be used for composting as large amounts can create an unpleasant odour which attracts rodents.
What is the Environmental Impact of Waste Oils if Incorrectly Disposed of?
Waste oil can be repurposed in so many positive and useful ways that there’s no real excuse for not disposing of it properly. When waste oil is disposed of incorrectly, such as by pouring it down the sink or directly into the bin while still hot, it has a lot of damaging effects on the environment. It has been recorded that one litre of oil can contaminate one million litres of water causing havoc on the aquatic environment and water systems. The same effect is seen when waste oil is poured into the soil and other land environments.
Free Waste Cooking Oil Collection and Recycling Service From BioUKFuels
At BioUKFuels we offer a free waste oil collection and recycling service to businesses across the UK. We collect and recycle your waste oils and fats and convert them into a sustainable alternative to diesel to create a more suitable fuel solution for our planet.
To schedule a collection with us that suits your business, simply call us or complete our online contact form to find out more about our services.