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The Best Way to Repurpose Cooking Oil from Commercial Kitchens

All good things must come to an end, they say. So, too, with cooking oil. And when it’s done the question is: what to do with it? The best answer? Repurpose it.

Using microfiltration, commercial kitchens can definitely stretch this precious commodity as far as possible, which is an obvious positive advantage for the bottom line. But when cooking oil must be disposed of, the very best option is to repurpose and recycle it. 

Alternative Fuel: Biofuel

There are surprisingly many uses for cooking oil that has reached the end of its useful life, and leading the pack is to recycle it into biodiesel. Because of the rise in demand for fossil fuel alternatives, cooking oil has become an important component in various biofuels which burns cleaner to reduce carbon emissions by up to 85% per gallon.

Collecting cooking oil to recycle it for biodiesel is a key service we offer to thousands of commercial and restaurant kitchen clients nationwide. We then pass it to processing facilities that strip and refine it into components for various fuels that could power planes, trains or automobiles. Filta handles all these logistics to free up kitchens to do what they do best, focus on the food.

Animal or Vegetable?

Used cooking oil (UCO) also can be repurposed as an ingredient in various types of pet and livestock food. Some animal feed producers recycle fats and UCO for livestock feed to provide calories, nutrition and taste as well as contribute to a supple and shiny fur coat for your dog or cat. Recycling for biodiesel is a far better end use because repurposing UCO for feed does require a complex stripping and refining process, but it is one use.

In smaller quantities, mostly for home use, UCO can also be composted. If you’re seeking richer soil, be careful with what type of oil you throw in the compost bin; vegetable oil is the best candidate because it is organic. And realize that UCO can create a foul odor and attract rodents and other nuisance pests.

Other Uses Around the House

In today’s age of Etsy and DIY-hype, other uses for waste cooking oil have emerged including soap making and for lamp oil fuel. Other ideas include using waste cooking oil to lubricate a creaking hinge, stiff lock or other household appliance, kind of like WD-40. Some people also use UCO to treat and protect leather furniture, rub on pots and pans to make them last longer, and even to remove paint.

Smart commercial and restaurant kitchens with waste cooking oil should always opt to recycle UCO for biodiesel fuel. But it certainly is interesting to examine the other ways creative people are using this waste around the house, for pets and livestock, and even, if you’re careful, for composting. Just say no to straight dumping and certainly NEVER down a drain.

To learn more about Filta’s services, please call 866-51-FILTA or visit for 24-hour live chat.

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