Cooking oil is a necessity when it comes to the preparation of foods at home, in food establishments, as well as in industrial applications. The everyday use of cooking oil all over the world translates to a lot of used cooking oil being re-used and/or being disposed of.
More and more people are preferring to dispose waste vegetable oil mainly because of health reasons. Health professionals usually oppose the re-use of waste vegetable cooking oil because of the many health risks associated with such oil. Such health hazards include heart and liver disease, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. The health professionals recommend getting rid of cooking oil that has been used twice or thrice. You should never use oil that has been re-used more than three times.
Improper disposal of Used cooking oil can have serious ramifications on the environment. This is because poorly disposed of oil can alter the life cycles of organisms in every single ecosystem, including soil and water systems. As such, it is imperative that we all understand how to properly get rid of such oil once it has outlived its usefulness.
The following are some tips that can help you get rid of the used oil without causing any harm to yourself or to the environment.
- Never pour oil down the sink
Never pour cooking oil down the sink drain as this oil will coat the pipes and clog them. The result will be eventual sewage backup and even flooding, both of which can expose you and your family to a myriad of health risks.
In addition, seriously clogged pipes are expensive to repair, making this avoidable situation a costly and inconvenient affair for you and your family.
- Put it in the trash
One of the best options of throwing away used vegetable oil is putting it in the trash. However, there is an environmentally safer way to do this than simply pouring it into the trash. Doing this will not only create an unsightly mess, it might also attract rodents, which are a serious health risk.
Rather, you should allow the oil to cool down to room temperature before you attempt to throw it out. This is partly a safety measure to ensure that the hot oil does not accidentally burn you when handling the pot containing the oil.
Once it has cooled down, you can wipe the oil off with paper towels and throw these in the trash. You should only do this if the oil in question is a small amount.
If it is a large amount of oil, you should scoop it up, and place it in a non-breakable container with a re-sealable lid or in a soda can. You can then dispose of the sealed container into the trash bag.
- Freeze and dispose
If you have a lot of used oil to throw away, but do not have the necessary sealable jar, you can freeze the oil in a normal container, and then pour the frozen contents into a trash bag with other waste materials. Freezing the oil first makes it easier to throw away without creating a mess, and it is much easier to control when it is in a solid state rather than in a liquid form. The other waste materials present in the trash bag should be able to absorb and contain the oil.
You can use any type of container when freezing the oil. Even a mug would do if it is adequately sized for the amount of oil you wish to dispose. You can easily wash these utensils off after you have thrown out the frozen oil. Just wash them in warm soapy water, and rinse thoroughly until you are sure the stickiness has disappeared.