Marco Bitran: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle – Repurposing Your Cooking Oil Waste

Expert Author Andrew Stratton


The use of cooking oil waste to produce biodiesel fuel and some types of animal feed is becoming increasingly popular. Businesses and consumers can contract with individuals or companies who specialize in the removal, transport to a processing facility, and recycling of this used cooking product.

Benefits for Businesses

If you own or manage a restaurant or other kitchen facility, your business may benefit greatly from using a recycling service for your used cooking oil for a number of reasons. First, this saves the business time and money, as workers will not need to dispose of the used product themselves. This also means you won’t have to worry about clogged sewage lines or grease traps. Second, unlike other programs, this kind of recycling is the type of service that will pay you for your business. The company you work with will use your waste to create a product they can sell for profit, so you are actually one of the suppliers for their product. This additional payment could be considered another revenue stream for your business, depending on how much oil you produce on a regular basis.


Some services will provide you with special leak-free containers to capture your cooking oil waste based on your anticipated volume. They will schedule a regular time to pick up your waste and empty your containers for transport. You should make sure the service is aware of any local regulations related to the transfer of this type of material. If they do not supply you with containers, be sure to ask which type is best for storage.


One of the main uses of cooking oil waste is in the production of biodiesel fuel. This type of fuel is used for power and heating. It has a low carbon content and doesn’t produce carbon monoxide, so it is much cleaner than other types of fuels. Companies that manufacture this type of fuel actually alter the properties of plant and animal fats, making the finished product perform more like petroleum-based fuels. The fuel can be used by itself, or it can be easily blended with other fuels.

Some companies use the leftover cooking product to create renewable diesel fuel, which is different from biodiesel. This is done by hyper-refining the used waste without using hazardous chemicals. The finished product has a higher energy content than biodiesel and is the most environmentally friendly biofuel. It is used for powering buildings as well as for heating and transportation.

Another use is in the production of animal feed. Due to fears of disease and because of heavy regulations, most of the material used for this purpose is exported outside of the country.

Recycling cooking oil waste is beneficial to the business with the oil, the company transporting and re-purposing it, and ultimately consumers who benefit from cleaner, more cost-effective energy.

When it comes to cooking oil waste, Portland, OR residents can learn more by visiting