Used Cooking Oil: From Trash to Treasure

Long gone are the days when a restaurant could view used cooking oil as just a nuisance to dispose of — something you’d like to dump in the trash and forget.  As new uses for what had been an unglamorous, messy, often dangerous kitchen waste product come onto the scene, the value of used cooking oil has risen dramatically.  Every indication is that the rise will continue.  Used cooking oil is now an asset – even a treasure for which a growing number of industries are finding new uses.

Like any asset, the way it is managed can have a dramatic impact on the value restaurant owners can recover.  Collecting used oil effectively and efficiently is critical.  Minimizing waste, reducing spills, speeding the collection process, ensuring the security of the oil throughout collection and transport – all contribute to the value restaurant owners can realize.

Mahoney Environmental®, a leader in the recycling industry for 60 years, introduced a number of innovations that made handling and collecting used cooking oil safer, more sanitary and more secure.  They pioneered the Direct Connection® system that drains used oil directly from the fryer to a holding tank.  And their systems incorporate a number of security features. Clear View tanks enable managers to see how much oil they’ve collected. Mahoney’s high security tanks incorporate sensors that precisely measure oil levels.  Their web based “Grease Tracker” system monitors usage trends, and provides real time text and email alerts when oil is removed.  Mahoney recently developed a UCO Locker® to secure exterior ports, preventing thieves from coming along and siphoning away this valuable commodity.

Systems to manage the handling, storage and disposal of cooking oil can be designed for any foodservice location. Equipment can be customized to fit into any size kitchen and to fit any fryer operation. Collection is scheduled so that it has a minimum impact on a restaurant’s business. And Mahoney transports the used oil in a safe and secure manner — trained people with specialized trucks collect the oil, just like guards in armored trucks collect receipts.  Sure, it may seem a stretch at first to compare used cooking oil to cash – until you realize that that’s exactly what it translates into as it is recycled into everything from fertilizer to animal feed to jet fuel.

Oil disposal was once a very local proposition. But as chain operations grew so did the need for consistently reliable handling of cooking oil.  Mahoney Environmental is national in scope, collecting and recycling used cooking oil from restaurants across the country, benefiting restaurant operators, the fuel and feed industries, and the environment.