When deep-frying chicken, stir-frying beef or sautéing vegetables, there is usually quite a bit of leftover cooking oil to dispose of after cooking. Once poured down the drain, used cooking oil cools, hardens and then sticks to the sides of the pipes clogging pipes and causing expensive sewer backups. Fortunately, there are several things one can do with used cooking oil that will save pipes and wastewater systems from expensive clogs and costly repairs.
Here are six ways to responsibly dispose of used cooking oil:
- Recycle used cooking oil. The R-Board provides a year-round collection of used cooking oil for residents at both of their convenience centers. Collect cooking oil in a heat-proof container and take it to the Regional Landfill, 489 Eskimo Hill Road, Stafford, VA 22554, or the Belman Road Recycling Center, 1200 Belman Road, Fredericksburg, VA 22401. You can leave the containers there, and staff will properly dispose of the oil.
- Reuse cooking oil with the same food types. If you use the oil for foods like vegetables or potatoes, the oil can be used repeatedly. Remember to cool and store oil properly if reusing.
- Make homemade suet for the birds. Mix any cooled cooking oil with birdseed and place it outside for the birds – they will appreciate the extra calories over the winter months.
- Small amounts of used vegetable oil can be added to your compost piles, which will help feed the earthworms that help with the composting process.
- Mix it with an absorbent material like cat litter or flour until the consistency is thick enough to be thrown away easily. Now you do not have to worry about oil leaking through a garbage bag.
- Cool it, can it and then toss it. Keep cans or milk cartons to pour your grease into, then stick it in the freezer or refrigerator to cool and harden, then toss it in the trash.
To help make proper disposal of cooking oil easier, Stafford County has “can the grease” lids available to residents, free-of-charge. Lids can be picked up at the Citizens Assistance office located in the George L. Gordon, Jr., Government Center, 1300 Courthouse Road, Stafford, VA 22554.
If you have any additional questions or want more information on how to dispose of Fats, Oils and Grease properly, please visit www.staffordcountyva.gov/FOG.