Frequently Asked Questions

What you should know about recycling used cooking oil

Recycling grease reduces greenhouse gasses by reducing the emissions from regular diesel fuel. Proper used cooking oil disposal also prevents clogged sewers and fouling of waterways. The handling of used cooking oil is regulated by the EPA throughout the United States. Overall, it is key to restaurant sustainability.

No. Never pour oil down the drain. The result can be expensive-clogged pipes, damaged grease traps, backups, and the fouling of public waterways. Dump oil in your grease bin for collection by a licensed cooking oil recycling company.

Recycled cooking oil can be made into biodiesel by transesterification or renewable diesel fuel via hydrotreating and isomerization. Both reduce greenhouse gasses.

Yes, you can recycle any type of cooking oil.

That is a challenging question. The answer varies with the type of oil used, the temperature of the oil, the type of food that is cooked, the kitchen’s best practices, the filtering and cleaning of the oil. The best practices of reusing cooking oil are here.

Regular diesel fuel is made from crude oil. It is a fuel that is highly polluting in that it produces a large amount of greenhouse gasses. Biodiesel is made from organic substances such as used cooking oil and corn and is blended with regular diesel to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Renewable diesel is made entirely from organic materials and can be used in place of regular diesel without blending and is often referred to as a drop-in fuel for that reason. The pathways for manufacturing both biodiesel and renewable diesel fuels are carefully monitored and must be approved by the EPA.

How do restaurants handle cooking oil?

Used cooking oil recycling companies are in every state. Many advertise on Google so if you search “used cooking oil recycling companies” you will find a number of options located near you. Rebirth Biofuels is a very service oriented recycling company that has operated for many years on the gulf coast from Baton Rouge to New Orleans to Picayune.

Having a reliable used cooking grease partner to recycle your oil is very important. Your grease partner should be available 24/7 for emergencies, providing lockable high quality grease bins for free. Liability insurance is a must as accidents do happen. They should be fully licensed in the states in which they operate. Check references and their longevity in the business.

Local recyclers often know their customers, are easily accessible and pick up the phone and make decisions when you call. Basically, they provide a more personalized service. They also hire local staff, putting money back into the economy which benefits you and your restaurant.

Grease bins are typically outdoor steel or polypropylene locable containers which receive and store used cooking oil as it awaits being picked up by the recycling company. They are important because used effectively grease bins keep employees safe, prevent spills and help to prevent theft.

What you need to know about grease traps

A grease trap (also called an interceptor) is a plumbing device which prevents kitchen grease from passing through pipes and into public waterways. Grease traps are required by EPA regulations for all restaurants and are accompanied by rules and regulations regarding installation and maintenance.

Local health departments inspect grease traps regularly to insure they are operating within established regulations. Failing an inspection can cost a restaurant money and sometimes shut it down.

Odors from a grease trap are an indication that the grease trap is overly full or is malfunctioning. Call your cooking oil recycler and request that your trap be cleaned and inspected.