How Recycled Cooking Oil Can Help the Environment

April 1, 2021

Cooking oil is used in high volumes in commercial kitchens in New Orleans, LA as an essential ingredient and tool for many dishes. Fortunately, once that oil has been used, it can easily be repurposed and recycled rather than simply thrown away.

Consider this: an average restaurant will produce nearly 7,000 pounds of used cooking oil every single year—and larger restaurants, especially fast food restaurants, will produce significantly more. If there are a lot of fried foods on the menu, you’re talking tens of thousands of pounds of spent oil.

You can’t pour oil down the drain, because it can clog up your plumbing, and throwing it away isn’t exactly an environmentally-friendly option, so you should make it a point to recycle that cooking oil, as it is the most “green” option available.

Here are just a few examples of why recycling cooking oil can benefit the environment in New Orleans, LA.

Prevent clogs in drains and plumbing

Cooking oil may go down the drain in hot liquid form, but as it cools it will solidify, and the buildup of solidified oil in the drains will eventually form a clog. These clogs can be very difficult and expensive to resolve as they get more severe, and could potentially cause sewage overflows when significant enough. Not only are the plumbing fixes to this problem expensive, but so too are the potential fines you could receive as a result of lack of compliance with oil disposal standards.

Reduced burden on landfills

Most people will throw out small quantities of cooking oil in the garbage at home. On a larger scale in commercial restaurants, this is less harmful than dumping the oil down the drain, but still not environmentally friendly. It wastes a reusable resource, and can still result in the oils in landfills getting into the ground or bodies of water, where it could cause problems for wildlife.

While the oil sits in the garbage waiting to be taken away, it will develop foul smells that will attract rodents and other pests, which could also become a health and sanitation issue.

Use as renewable fuel

Used cooking oil can be turned into biodiesel and other forms of renewable fuel. Biodiesel can be used for powering rail cars and certain types of trucks. The use of biodiesel limits dependence on fossil fuels that are harmful to the environment.

Renewable diesel fuels are very similar to petroleum diesel and can be put back into the fuel grid. It can be developed with the help of recycled cooking oils.

Use in agriculture

Used cooking oil can be used in agricultural settings as a way to enhance animal feeds. It can be used as a replacement for corn, given the nutrients that provide alternative calories. In many cases, the oil will actually provide much more energy than corn. This is beneficial for farms in hot climates (especially pig and poultry farms), where you want the livestock to eat less but still get the same energy and nutrients.

For more information about why recycling cooking oil can benefit the environment in New Orleans, LA, contact the team at Safeway Used Oil and Grease today.

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