Oil, grease, and fat are in the same category of oil-based components and have so many uses ranging from being used in the household for cooking to the maintenance of machine moving parts. But like any other item, they should be discarded after use. If not properly disposed of, waste oil can cause numerous negative implications on the environment.
It endangers aquatic organisms by contaminating the soil, ground, and surface water sources. The waste oil is also slow to degrade and can stick to everything from bird feathers to animal fur and beach sand. Waste oil is also a major source of waterways contamination. When getting rid of waste oil, therefore, it is essential to remember that the oil is insoluble, persistent, and can contain heavy metals and toxic chemicals.
Before disposing of leftover oil, it’s always worth remembering that the oil can be refined and recycled over and over again, and still utilized for other purposes. Besides, it also comes with its benefits. Here are the 10 great ways of waste disposal and the benefits of reusing and recycling oil.
10 Great Ways for Waste Oil Disposal
1. Storing the waste oil properly for collection and recycling
The process of proper oil disposal starts with storing the waste oil properly and in the right container. The safest way is to use the original containers that came with the oil during transportation. The storage container should also be tightly closed to avoid leakages that can be harmful to the environment.
When choosing the storage container, those that contained antifreeze, paint, or chemicals should be avoided especially if one intends to recycle or reuse the oil. Careful transfer of the used oil into the storage container should also be ensured to avoid spillage. Once the storage container is tightly sealed, it should be clearly labeled.
2. Know what you are disposing and the correct way of doing it
Before disposing of the waste oil, it is necessary to make sure that you fully understand the oil you want to discard. This will aid in knowing how to correctly dispose of it. For example, burning a substance that you do not fully understand can expose you to untold dangers.
Although you can safely get rid of some oils with heaters and boilers, you may need to outsource disposal services for some oils. Once you understand the oil you are working with, you can be able to choose the safest and effective method of disposal.
3. Store waste oil in a safe place
Since you are not likely to dispose of the waste oil the day you change it from your machine, you should ensure that it is placed in a safe place where no one without necessary information can get hold of it especially if there are children and pets. Waste oil should not be kept in the same place with unused oil to avoid confusion especially if it is stored in ordinary fuel storage.
4. The use of expert services
If you do not have the capacity or ability to dispose of the waste oil, you should always contact a local waste oil remover. Most waste oil service providers have the necessary equipment and facility to ensure safe and effective waste oil disposal. When using such services, considerations should be the level of expertise and pricing.
5. Do not pour it down the drain or the septic system
Used cooking oil, grease or any other oil should never be poured down the drain or into the septic system. It clogs sewers and drainage systems. It should be properly stored and labeled as stated above with an objective of later disposing of it correctly, sending it for recycling, or using the services of a professional.
6. Properly maintain your equipment/vehicle
Effective waste oil disposal starts with the maintenance of your equipment or vehicle. A well-maintained machine or vehicle is easy to clean and reduces the overall leakage of oil and the need for new oil replacement thus reducing the overall requirement of used oil disposal.
7. Use the appropriate heater if burning the oil as a disposal means
If you choose to dispose of your oil by burning it, you should make sure that you are using the right heater. Burning waste oil is a safe and cost-effective way to recycle the used oil and convert it into a more useful product.
However, you should make sure that you are using an efficient heater that is specially designed for waste oil disposal. The waste oil burners are specially designed from carbon steel and should not be confused with ordinary boilers that are made from cast iron.
8. Use waste oil disposal approved equipment
It is worth noting that some waste boilers are only designed to effectively burn a limited number of oils. Low quality or unreliable equipment can only burn a limited range of used oils and hence, it is necessary to invest in high-quality equipment. When buying waste oil disposal equipment, you should make sure that it is approved by the appropriate bodies. Most certified boilers and heaters can burn a vast range of waste oils in a way that is safe and effective.
9. Use the laid down oil disposal guidelines
When disposing of used oil, one should strictly adhere to the manufacturer guidelines. If unsure of how used oil should be disposed of, one should always refer to the manual. Different boilers come with different features that are designed to ensure proper waste oil disposal. Others are built to make disposal process as simple as possible and thus, it is necessary to familiarize yourself with the equipment before using it.
10. Dispose of everything associated with the used oil
When disposing of waste oil, most people tend to forget disposing of other contaminated parts. Once a person changes the motor oil, it is a common occurrence to dispose of the oil and forget the oil filter but that should not be the case. The oil filter contains oil contaminations and thus, it can have the same effect on the environment as the used oil. This warrants the need for ensuring it is properly disposed of.
Benefits of Reusing and Recycling Waste Oil
1. Eliminates the risk of harming the environment
Recycling and reusing the used oil helps to eliminate the risk of oil harming the environment due to greenhouse gas emissions and the contamination of water systems, land, and agricultural fields. Recycling used oil into biodiesel, for example, produces less carbon footprint than producing virgin oil of the same quantity.
According to research, the use of biodiesel will aid in reducing greenhouse gas emissions from industries and vehicles by 90% or more. Furthermore, reuse keeps waste oils from the landfills and drainage systems, which can contaminate the land, soils, and water. As such, it reduces the overall rate of environmental pollution.
2. Offers valuable, less costly, and reliable source of renewable energy
Since oils do not expire, they are a reliable source of energy. It is cost-effective to use recycled oil as fuel as it can help people reduce heating and energy bills. Recycling used oil also requires minimal energy consumption compared to processing raw material resulting in an overall cost benefit. Used cooking oil, for example, can be converted into biodiesel fuel, which can be used to power vehicles and machines.
3. Lower costs of drainage repairs and clean-up
Re-refining is considered the best way in managing drainage repair and clean-up costs. According to reports, hospitals, households, and restaurants have for a long time had a tendency of disposing of used cooking oil through the kitchen drain that not only magnifies the effects of water and land pollution but also makes drainage and sewer treatment quite difficult, increasing the costs of repairs and clean-up. With the recycling of waste cooking oil, it can significantly reduce the drainage repair and clean-up costs.
4. It can create jobs
Recycling oil can create new jobs especially if people can embrace waste oil recycling with an objective of biodiesel production. Biodiesel can be used to power vehicles, engines of generators, transformers, and agricultural machinery. The jobs can be created in fields such as information technology, research and training, marketing, and engineering.