How to dispose of olive oil

Cooking oil is one of the main culprits for clogged pipes at home, find out how best to dispose of it.

It is easy to clean your pans in the kitchen sink and pour the oil down the drain, however oils can build up in pipes and eventually clog your sewage system.
This can cause raw sewage to flow into homes and the environment, sending unhealthy pathogens through the air that can impact your health.

Here are some tips to dispose of oil to prevent fat build-up in your pipes.

Let it solidify

Most cooking oils, except canola oil, will solidify once left to cool. Allow the pan and oil to cool down before wiping with paper towel, ensuring any excess oil has been absorbed, then disposing of the towels in the rubbish bin.

Use a container

If using an oil that doesn’t harden, put it in a sealable container before putting it in the garbage. Similarly, if you’d like an easier clean-up with solid oils, pour oil into a container and leave in the fridge to harden before disposal.

Add to compost

Vegetable oils and olive oil are organic material and can be added to your compost pile along with other leaves, fruits and vegetable scraps. Too much oil however may kill or slow down some organic processes, so be sure to add small bits at a time and mix in thoroughly to the compost.

Recycle

By using a recycling centre or teaming up with a local restaurant you can safely discard a large amount of excess fats or oils you have left over. Keep a re-sealable container within reach and pour in any leftover oil. Once the container is full, take it to the recycling centre and add it to their grease disposal bin.

Re-use the oil

Oils used for deep frying can be used several times if you follow a few guidelines. Don’t mix different types of oil or keep on the heat after you are done cooking – exposing oil to prolonged heat accelerates rancidity. Make sure the oil is clear of any batter or food that may be left in it. Ensure the oil is stored in a cool, dark place, and that when you’re cooking, the temperature is at least 190 degrees Celsius.

There are several ways to use up excess olive oil that don’t involve cooking. It can be used as a wood furniture polish, a lubricant for joints and hinges, help with stuck zippers, and can prevent streaks and corrosion on stainless steel and brass.