Why should you recycle your professional kitchen’s used cooking oil?

Pipe clogged with fatThink just a little bit of used cooking oil, animal fat, grease and food scraps poured down the drain can’t hurt? Find out why it’s better for your business, the community and the environment to recycle your cooking oil.

  1. Pouring used cooking oil down the drain blocks your pipes

In a two-year campaign in Oxford in 2016, Thames Water found that 95% of food establishments were contributing to used cooking oil blockages with inadequate or zero kitchen grease management. Only 5% had the correct-sized grease traps installed and properly maintained.

Grease traps fit to sinks, separating solid fats and oils from water, protecting your pipes and the public sewer network too. Need grease trap advice? Call your local water supplier for help.

  1. It’ll cost you ££ to clear those pipes

Internal pipes need to be cleared by an internal drainage specialist from your water company. So while costs can vary, one thing’s clear – it will cost you, especially if your business has to close while the pipes are replaced or cleared.

  1. The fat can block your sewers too

All that fat spilling around the sewer congeals to form fatbergs, a bit like stinky stalactites, on the roofs of the sewers. Every year, Thames Water clears around 85,000 blockages from its 108,000 km sewer network. One famous one in Kingston-upon-Thames in southwest London was the size of a bus and weighed an incredible 15 tonnes.

The law protects the public sewer network. Section 111 of the Water Industry Act prohibits putting anything into a drain that could interfere with the flow of a public sewer.

In October 2016, Severn Trent Water prosecuted a Midlands restaurant for contravening this act.

“There’s a clear link between our fatberg hotspots and high concentrations of food outlets,” says Thames Water’s sewer network performance manager, Stephen Pattenden.

“Blockages and sewer flooding are not just an inconvenience – they can ruin people’s homes, businesses and livelihoods. For a food outlet, it’s clearly a risk to their business.”

  1. Catering establishments can’t put used cooking oil in the bin 

By law, those working in the food business aren’t allowed to dispose of their waste cooking oil and grease with the rest of the kitchen waste. The Environment Agency and Food Standards Agency require chefs and caterers legally to dispose of your used cooking oil via a licensed cooking oil collector, like Proper Oils, which will make sure your used cooking oil is refined into biodiesel.

  1. Your used cooking oil can be turned into something beautiful!

Well, okay, not exactly beautiful – but it can become something greener. The used cooking oil is turned into a green fuel called biodiesel by a process called transesterification. The end result? Biodiesel is mixed with normal diesel to make a greener blend for the transport network. Find out more about what happens to the cooking oil you recycle.

  1. We can pay you for it

If you store your used cooking oil carefully and we can collect a certain quantity, we can pay you for it. Call us on 0208 894 9476 for more information.


To book a used cooking oil collection, or find out more about Proper Oils’ services, please call us on 0208 894 9476, email info@properoils.co.uk or simply fill in our form

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Read more:

6 tips for your used cooking oil collections when you have very little space
Customer case study: collecting used cooking oil from Wembley Stadium
10 years of waste cooking oil collections with Proper Oils
5 ways to store large volumes of waste cooking oil

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