How to Dispose of Cooking Oil at Home

Whether you’ve fried up a pan of bacon or used your deep fryer for the first time, knowing how to dispose of cooking oil will make clean-up a breeze.

In most cases, disposing of cooking oil is as easy as placing it in a container and tossing it in the garbage. Although, if you live in an urban area, you may have cooking oil recycling options available to you.

dispose cooking oil at home

How to Properly Dispose of Cooking Oil at Home

You can throw cooking oil in your regular garbage can. There are two good options for doing this:

  • After cooking, wait for the oil to cool, dump it in an old container (an old juice container, pickle jar, milk jug, etc.), seal the container, and place it in your garbage can.
  • Place cooled cooking oil in a tripled-up plastic bag. Tie shut and freeze for 24 hours. Discard your frozen cooking oil into the garbage bin.

Whatever you do, don’t place cooking oil down the drain. Oil will build up on the insides of the drainpipes, eventually blocking water from flowing through. As a result, your water and sewage can back up, leading to a big mess and costly plumbing repairs.

Tip: To make grease and oil disposal easy, purchase a grease disposal system with foil liner bags. You place the foil bags in the container, dump the grease in the bag, seal it up, and toss it in the trash.

How to Get Rid of Bacon Grease: An Example

If you’ve cooked bacon and need to dispose of the grease, let it cool down in the pan. Then find an old container or beverage carton (juice container, jar, jug, etc.), and pour the bacon grease inside. After sealing it up, toss the container in your regular garbage bin.

How to Recycle Cooking Oil

Recycling plants can turn used cooking oil into biodiesel fuel, fertilizer, feedstock, and cosmetics. Recycling is a great way to give your cooking oil a second life. 

Here’s what kind of cooking oils you can recycle:

  • Vegetable Oil
  • Canola Oil
  • Corn Oil
  • Soybean Oil
  • Sunflower Oil
  • Peanut Oil
  • Sesame Oil
  • Olive Oil
  • Lard

If there’s a hazardous waste recycling facility near you, take the following steps before delivering your used cooking oil.

  • Find a large plastic jug of less than five gallons. (An old cooking oil bottle is one of the best containers, but you can also use an old juice container or something similar.)
  • After cooking, allow your oil to cool and pour it into the jug. Only put your cooking oil in the jug – no other waste liquids.
  • When the jug is full, seal it and drop it off at your recycling center.

Where to Recycle Cooking Oil

Cooking oil recycling centers aren’t as common as those for paper, plastic, and metal. Check your local government’s community action or recycling website to see if there are options local to you. Also, look for hazardous waste recycling facilities.

If you can’t locate anything nearby, visit Earth 911, enter “cooking oil” in the “search for” box, and input your zip code. The Earth911 directory will display all cooking oil recycling centers within up to 100 miles.