Is it safe to dump grease in the sink? No. In fact, it’s one of the biggest rules in kitchen operation—don’t dump grease down the sink! Grease congeals inside drains and sewers and can result in massive blockages that can be difficult to remove and could potentially cause significant damage to plumbing systems.
There’s another risk associated with pouring grease down a drain that doesn’t necessarily have to do with your own facilities: Grease can feed and build up fatbergs, which are giant, condensed globs of fats, oils and grease from when businesses and residents dump grease down the drains. The grease then often sticks to other items that should not be flushed, such as wet wipes, cotton balls and diapers, forming massive blockages in sewer systems.
A pair of massive fatbergs made the news in London a couple years ago when workers removed one that weighed approximately 100 tons and another that weighed approximately 63 tons.
So what can individuals and businesses do to avoid contributing to these fatbergs?
Here are some tips for recycling used oil and grease:
- Reuse grease: After frying, pour off the grease into a leak-proof container, and store it away in a cool, dark place. So long as you feel okay about the color, smell and appearance of the grease, you can reuse it for frying. This will help reduce the amount of grease waste you create.
- Dispose of grease properly: For individuals looking for ways to dispose of their grease, you can throw it out in small amounts. Make sure it’s in a tightly sealed, non-recyclable container. Dispose of the whole container while the oil is inside to prevent it from leaking or contaminating anything else. Keep in mind this is only an option for small amounts of grease.
- Containers for restaurants: Restaurants should invest in grease storage containers, which can be positioned indoors or outdoors, depending on the configuration. These containers come in a wide range of sizes and make it easy for restaurants to store used cooking oils for reuse or for eventual transport by a UCO (used cooking oil) recycling company.
- Get a contract with a UCO company: Commercial kitchens should strongly consider working with a UCO recycling company to get rid of their excess cooking oil. Working with these companies is convenient because it prevents commercial kitchens from having to transport their own cooking waste for disposal or recycling. It’s an easy option to get that UCO off their hands, and it’s also beneficial for the environment, as it allows the oil to be reused for other positive purposes.
- Train employees: Commercial kitchens should train all employees thoroughly in grease and oil disposal methods and reinforce over and over again that grease should not be sent down the drain, as it could be catastrophic for plumbing.
If you’ve ever seen a photo of a fatberg, you know just how disgusting they are. The last thing you want is to contribute to their formation in our sewer systems. Follow the above steps, and do your part to recycle and properly dispose of used cooking oil. Contact us at Safeway Used Oil and Grease for further information.
Categorised in: Cooking Oil Recycling