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A Guide on Eco-Friendly and Safe Disposal of Fats Used in Cooking Oil and Grease

Busy restaurant kitchen with stainless steel stations and multiple staff prepares for dinner rushIf you run a restaurant or other type of commercial kitchen, you are presented with a greasy dilemma. Fats, oils, and grease (FOG) accumulate during cooking and need to be removed from the kitchen. Whether accumulating in the sauté pan or transferred out of the deep fryer, these greasy substances must be removed before surfaces and cookware can be thoroughly cleaned. Pouring it down the drain into the sewer system is a recipe for disaster. Atlantic Sitton Services knows just what to do with fats grease, and used  cooking oil, offering free collection.

Understanding Fats, Oils, and Grease (FOG)

Fats, oils, and grease (FOG) has been used for cooking or frying foods. It consists of vegetable oils and animal fats. Atlantic Sitton Services provides safe disposal receptacles for and free collection for restaurants, nursing homes, cafeterias, food producers and manufacturers, and other commercial kitchen facilities.

The Dangers of Improper Disposal

When FOG gets into the environment it can be dangerous and harmful to the ecology and public health. It can coat plants and animals, causing suffocation through lack of oxygen and starvation. Collecting on shorelines and in waterways, it causes damage, including:

  • Forming toxic products
  • Polluting groundwater
  • Aggregating as products that resist decomposition
  • Contaminating food and water sources for wildlife
  • Clogging sewer pipes, creating backups and overflows
  • Creating fire hazards near ignition sources

This type of pollution affects municipalities and rural communities, challenging sanitation standards and creating health hazards.

What NOT to Do With Used Cooking Oil

Despite being sources of nutrition, these fats, oils, and grease can also be dangerous substances when improperly handled. The large quantities produced in restaurants and commercial kitchens demand careful disposal, and this is also required by government regulations. When used cooking oil is poured down the drain, it cools and congeals along the sides of sewer and plumbing pipes. There are several reasons to exercise caution when handling FOG.

Pouring It Down the Drain

Never pour FOG down the drains in your commercial kitchen or at home. This is the surest way to clog drains, and the congealed oils serve to narrow pipe volume and slow the draining process. In addition, as FOG moves through the sewage system and water treatment plants, it can cause backups and blockages, and reduce the efficiency of filtering systems that help create clean drinking water supplies.

Dumping It in the Trash

When used cooking oil ends up in the trash, it can attract pests and insect infestations to the site of your commercial kitchen. Unless there is a safe, durable collection receptacle, used cooking oil will leak and create a toxic mess on your property.

Burning It in Open Fires

Aside from the danger of causing a fire that may get out of control, the toxic fumes created by burning trash and FOG are harmful to human and animal health. There are concerns about cancers, lung damage, and injury to the eyes and other soft tissues.

Using It for Gardening or Composting

Used cooking oil is not a good choice to use as a fertilizer in your garden or yard. It can smell and attract unwanted pests. It does not break down easily and may have negative effects on both soil quality and plant health. Commercial producers utilize FOG to make fertilizers and feedstock for domestic animals, but this is within the context of an industrial process that may be difficult to copy on a small scale.

Reusing It Indefinitely

There are health concerns about reusing cooking oil in food preparation too many times. Through repeated reheating and high temperatures, harmful compounds can form that are detrimental to human health. These are thought to cause indigestion, illness, and other diseases.

Disposing of It in Natural Water Sources

Natural water sources should always be protected from fats, oils, and grease. It harms aquatic ecosystems that include fish, plants, and smaller organisms. Because FOG forms solids when it cools and doesn’t dissolve easily in water, this is a particularly poor method of disposal.

Selling or Giving It Away

Be wary of letting other commercial kitchens reuse your cooking oil or selling it to third parties. Unless you have thoroughly researched how the cooking oil will be disposed of, you may face liability issues.

Safe and Eco-Friendly Alternatives

Finding reputable septic system specialists or recycling professionals who will safely dispose of used cooking oil is the safest way to handle FOG in your commercial kitchen. In NJ, Atlantic Sitton Services offers regularly scheduled pickups for used cooking oil to recycle it into biofuels. We also provide grease trap cleaning and grease tank pumping services. With experienced technicians taking FOG away from your kitchen, you can keep it out of your pipes, septic systems, and wastewater treatment facilities. Restaurant owners can responsibly recycle FOG, contributing to better public health and a cleaner environment.

Recycle Your Used Cooking Oil With Atlantic Sitton Services

Commercial kitchen facilities rely Atlantic Sitton Services for used cooking oil recycling. We can help you keep grease out of your kitchen and the environment. Contact us today.


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