An Unlikely Environmental Hero
Collecting and recycling used fryer oil has become a win-win
Used fryer oil, used cooking oil, or UCO: always present and seemingly never ending. It’s often cursed in the kitchen by staff but cheered by the collection companies and the hundreds of industries that use it to manufacture hundreds of items used in our daily lives.
Most people don’t think about where the oil goes, or what it becomes, after it leaves a restaurant or food service operation. But that knowledge will give you a new appreciation of how an item, which is often looked upon as trash, can help this country and many other countries sustain comfortable lives. Whether it’s used to create crayons, lubricants, fertilizer, paint, cosmetics, textiles, rubber, various soaps or, of course, biofuels, your used fryer oil always has a new life after leaving your kitchen.
Just as importantly, waste oil product that is collected and reprocessed supersedes the use of millions of acres of crop land reserved for the growth of corn and soybeans. This lets farmers reuse their land to raise other food grains, extending the usability of their land.
According to the North American Rendering Association, the UCO industry recycles 2.4 million pounds of used cooking oils from foodservice operations, much of which is used for biodiesel production. The biodiesel created from recycled cooking oil is equivalent to the output from 4.7 million acres of land.
Let’s not forget another very important reason for the collection of the product: keeping the environment clean and viable. Collection prevents your used oil from going down the kitchen drains and causing untold clogs, sewer and wastewater problems – the single greatest cause of municipal sewer stoppages and repairs, costing millions of dollars nationally. It also stops your staff from putting it in trash bins where it would end up in a landfill and avenues for its reuse would be lost.
The more we can find methods of reprocessing waste products from the kitchens and protecting the environment, the brighter the future will be for everyone – both today and for generations to come. That’s a win-win for all.
The proper collection of used cooking oil not only helps protect the environment, but also helps you operate more smoothly. To hire LES as your trusted UCO partner, click here now!
Credit: RFMA/Facilitator Magazine.