Storing Used Cooking Oil for Recycling
Who is looking for used cooking oil storage?
A frequent Google search is “How to store used cooking oil.” It is somewhat surprising that that search is requested so often. So, who is searching for “How to store used cooking oil” and what are they looking for when they search? There are two answers:
- A consumer looking to dispose of household used cooking oil and;
- A restaurant looking to recycle large quantities of used cooking oil.
A consumer is looking for…
A consumer searching for “how to store used cooking oil” will often find websites telling them to seal it in a container and put it out with the rubbish. This is not the best solution.
Used cooking oil is damaging to the environment. It can end up in landfills creating rancid smells and it only biodegrades in small quantities. And if it gets into water or septic systems it can be disastrous.
The best solution, if available, is to recycle with a municipal or privately owned facility that properly handles used cooking grease.
Never, ever put it down the drain. Expensive plumbing problems can result.
A restaurant is looking for…
Restaurants have a different objective when searching “How to store used cooking oil.” They are looking to store large quantities of used cooking oil, often hundreds of gallons while awaiting a pickup from their used cooking oil recycling company.
Restaurant space is at a premium so using it for used cooking oil is something to avoid. Restaurants have two basic solutions for storing their used cooking oil: outdoor tanks and indoor tanks.
Outdoor Storage Tanks
Most restaurants have a tank kept outdoors, usually somewhere between 100 and 400 gallons in capacity. Kitchen staff will transport cooled oil from the kitchen to the tank. Keeping that path clear and safe is very important to the restaurant and to the safety of the employees.
The tank will often have a locked top to help deter theft and a grate at the top to prevent non-used cooking oil material from being dumped there.
This tank will be accessed by the used cooking oil recycling company and pumped regularly and the oil recycled into a variety of products such as biodiesel fuel, renewable diesel fuel, cosmetics or animal feed.
This is a practical solution but it has a few downsides:
- Theft can be a problem and every lock can be broken with the right tools.
This can lead to spills, messes and lost revenues.
- Employees have to safely transport oil to the bin and get heavy containers over the side of the bin and safely deposit the oil.
- The pathway to the bin can sometimes be dangerous, particularly in wintertime.
Indoor Cooking Oil Storage Tanks
If space is available, in the kitchen, in a storage room, a basement or a garage, an automated indoor tank is an excellent solution to the problem of storing used cooking oil.
These tanks are typically vertical cylinders ranging in size from 150 gallons to 350 gallons. They are space efficient because of their vertical orientation.
There are indoor solutions for areas that don’t easily accommodate either indoor or outdoor tanks (think hotels, casinos with numerous distributed kitchens).
First roller carts can replace the automated tanks.
For storing and moving 40 to 80 gallons of oil in smaller, lower profile, mobile roller carts. These carts are space savers that can be easily stored and wheeled to a spot where the UCO collector can easily pump the oil into a truck for recycling.
Employees don’t have to raise containers up to empty the contents as they do with an outdoor bin.
Used Cooking Oil Transport
If you do choose an automated tank, there are several pumping or transport methods available to get the used cooking oil into the container.
The tank can be directly connected (if you have self-filtering fryers) and the oil pumped in via a pipe with the push of a button.
The oil can be transported in a caddy and then attached to the tank and the used cooking oil pumped in via a hose.
Or the oil can be transferred to the tank via a hose with an attached wand-directly from either the fryer or the caddy.
The used cooking oil recycling company can enter the kitchen with a small hose attached to their truck and pump out the used oil for recycling.
Regardless of the size or configuration of your restaurant, hotel, casino or food processing facility ReBirth Biofuels has a solution to your used cooking oil recycling needs.