Overview of Grease Collection
Most restaurants and food service establishments (FSE) use different types of cooking oil to prepare items on their menus. There is a variety of items food service establishments use to cook with Fats, Oils and Greases (FOG). Whether it be vegetable, peanut, canola, palm, olive, sunflower, fish, lard, or other types of oils, they all must be recycled properly as they cannot be disposed of as typical garbage waste. If not properly disposed of, oil can clog drains, contaminate local water treatment plants, and damage sewer systems. Grease collection service is the proper storage and pick-up of used cooking oil from restaurants and food producing establishments. Most used restaurant grease collection is free and provided a bin but when the minimum of 40 gallons is met. Grease collection bins are used to store used oil to be picked up by a grease collection company to be turned into biodiesel, soaps, shampoos and more.
Grease Disposal Requirements
Grease is a major concern for drainpipes and sewage pipelines, and must be properly discarded to avoid damage to plumbing systems. It is important for restaurant owners to establish a working relationship with a grease collection company to ensure compliance with city waste and disposal requirements. Establishments do not adhere to these regulations can be heavily fined and penalized, so it is a best to maintain regular grease collection practices. For more information on grease disposal, see our blog post: Used Cooking Oil & Grease Recycling.
Each restaurant has different cooking oil needs based on their menu and volume of customers. Therefore, there are various bin sizes available to collect and store used oil. Bins can be stored either inside or outside an establishment. This is often decided by the restaurant owner based on the size of the bin. If your restaurant has a smaller bin and does not use much cooking oil, often times collection services will be scheduled on a will call basis. A restaurant with a high volume of cooking oil will need to schedule more regular used oil collection schedule to ensure the bin does not overflow with used grease. Bins usually range in size from 40 gallons to 300 gallons.
Indoor storage bins are most often 40 or 55 gallons. Indoor bins help to prevent cooking oil theft, and allow for a shorter trip to dispose of used cooking oil. Outdoor bins are typically larger sizes, ranging from 110 to 300 gallons. Outdoor bins are usually preferred for larger oil storage to not take up as much room in a restaurant kitchen. Some establishment owners prefer outdoor, locking bins to deter the theft of the oil. Cooking oil theft is a concern, but there are ways to prevent it. See our blog post: Used Cooking Oil Theft What to Do About It.
Grease collection companies are able to help determine the frequency of collection services. Accurate scheduling of pick-up typically depends on the size of the bin and the amount of oil in a month’s time. After a representative from a grease collection company is able to help assess the needs of a given restaurant, a storage bin will be provided. A regular collection schedule will be set in place, and used cooking oil can begin to be properly stored until pick-up. Most grease collection services recycle the used cooking oil into makeup and livestock filters.