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Tips for Everyday Life: How to dispose of edible oil


Date28 Jul 2022


Separating waste can be a pretty complicated task but it is an indispensable step in the waste recycling process which can help to reduce our harmful influence on the environment and thus ensure the protection of our livelihood. Exactly because separating waste is such an important but at times difficult activity, we have written a comprehensive article that gives you an overview of the waste separation system in Germany. After reading it, you will surely understand the general system and be able to throw your trash into the right bin. In some situations, however, you might still be wondering about where to dispose of specific kinds of waste that are not as common as others. Our tips for everyday life will help you to master these small challenges.  

One such situation arises if you have just prepared self-made French fries with a deep fryer or if you wanted to test your cooking skills by re-creating a North Indian street food classic – hot and spicy Chole Bhature. Both these dishes require big amounts of edible oil for frying and while you are munching on your home-made delicacies you might easily forget the oil that is still sizzling in your pan. So what to do with all the excess fat? Stick to the following guidelines to dispose of your cooking oil in a responsible way!

  1. Do not throw away the oil when it is still hot! Hot oil cannot only be dangerous for your own health but it might also damage the waste containers or react with other kinds of waste. So, always let it cool down first!
  2. You also should never pour your frying oil into the drain of your kitchen sink! This can attract vermin like rats or it might clog the drain. 
  3. Small amounts of used oil can be disposed of in the residual waste containers (but not in the organic waste bin). For this purpose, you can collect the oil in a plastic bottle. A glass bottle is not suitable since glass is a valuable resource which can be recycled, if the empty bottles are thrown into the glass containers.  
  4. Whereas it is a common sight in Spanish cities, only few German municipalities have specific collection points or containers for used oil. However, big amounts can be brought to a recycling depot (Wertstoffhof) which are also used for specific kinds of waste such as furniture or big electronic appliances. 

In addition to these steps, it is important to store your cooking oil properly so that it stays fresh for longer and therefore it is not wasted unnecessarily. Most importantly, any kind of edible oil should be stored in a cool and dark place, since too much sunlight and heat can damage the ingredients of the oil. In the temperate climate of Germany, a closed cupboard will usually be completely sufficient for this and refrigerating is not necessary or at times even detrimental to the quality of the oil. Some varieties like pumpkin seed oil, walnut oil or rape seed oil, however, stay fresh for longer when kept in the fridge. Lastly, always close the container of your oil properly so that the oil stays pure and retains its natural taste.  

We hope this article will help you to avoid the common mistake of simply pouring your old cooking oil into the drain and has given you some useful tips on what to do instead. If there are any further questions, please comment below, connect with others in the New2 FORUM or write to us at [email protected]!

Written by: Ferdinand Schlechta 

Cover Photo: Unsplash - Ashwini Chaudhary (Monty)

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