How to Recycle Cooking Oil

We use cooking oil to prepare everything from Thanksgiving turkey to sauteed vegetables to salad dressing. But considering it poses havoc to drains and our sewage pipes, you want to avoid pouring it down the drain.

Cooking Oil Recycling Preparation

  1. Designate a container in your house for used cooking oil. Metal coffee cans or plastic butter containers work great, but make sure it’s labeled so no one accidentally drinks it. You don’t need to keep it refrigerated unless you want to reuse it.
  2. Keep filling the container with new oil each time you cook. Don’t worry about draining any fats or combining different types of oil, but try to remove any large pieces of meat or produce.
  3. Use our Recycling Locator to see if there is a recycling location for cooking oil in your area. They may only be available during the holiday season.
  4. If no option exists, call your local fire department to see if used oil is accepted.
  5. If recycling is not available in your community, seal your cooking oil container and dispose in the garbage.

Why Recycle Cooking Oil

  • If you pour greasy oil down the drain, it will solidify and eventually block your pipes or cause damage to your city’s sanitation pipes
  • Cooking oil can be refined into biofuel that burns clean in most diesel engines
  • If you own/work at a restaurant or have access to a large amount of cooking oil, you can get paid by commercial oil recyclers for the product

Find Recycling Guides for Other Materials

Frequent Cooking Oil Recycling Questions

Additional Reading