Used Cooking Oil Disposal in Texas

oil and grease collection

Superior Service

ReGrease’s software predicts the fill rate of your tanks and creates dynamic routes which ensure that we are there to collect your restaurant grease when we need to be. In an emergency, we are available 24/7 for used cooking oil disposal or to handle unforeseen issues such as clogs or spills. Our service focus is what differentiates us from the rest of the used cooking oil recycling companies in Houston, Austin and San Antonio, Texas. Great service and you get paid for your grease.

ReGrease Used Cooking Oil Recycling  Truck with tanks
Cover of in-ground grease trap

UCO and Grease Trap in One

ReGrease is a one-stop shop for all your used cooking oil recycling needs. We provide a single point of contact to handle all aspects of your cooking grease disposal.

Indoor Tanks

From an indoor tank with a mobile caddy to a fully automated Total Oil Management system, ReGrease has it all: fresh oil delivery, web-based fill rate notifications and completely self-contained UCO transport and storage systems. Check out our automation page to see the many options we have available.

Outdoor Tanks

ReGrease has a variety of outdoor storage tanks, with locked lids to prevent theft. Used cooking oil tanks can be customized to fit the needs of your oil volume and available space. We can provide shuttles for easy and safe transfer of grease to an outdoor storage tank. Want to keep it simple? This is the way to go.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q1 Can I schedule a custom used cooking oil pickup?

Our proprietary scheduling software insures we are there when we need to be. If there are non-emergency, unusual events we can be there within 24 hours.

Q2 How do I know you will be reliable?

Used cooking oil recycling and grease trap cleaning are all we do. Our success has come through a complete focus on our customers. And you will have the phone number of the CEO.

Q3 What is your service area?

We operate in the Houston, San Antonio, Austin triangle. But, we are expanding so give us a call.
We provide restaurant grease removal for restaurants, food processors and malls.

Q4 Will you pick up oil from my house?

No, we only serve commercial businesses.

Q5 Do you recycle motor oil?

No. We do not. We only recycle used cooking oil.

Used Cooking Oil Disposal

Used cooking oil is the waste oil that is produced in deep fat frying and the drippings from pan frying and roasting meats. When recycled with a used cooking oil recycling company these waste oils have value as they can be made into products such as biodiesel/renewable diesel, soaps, and cosmetics. 

ReGrease, a used cooking oil collection company collects grease from restaurants, hotels, stadiums and food processors in Houston, Austin and San Antonio, Texas. The company’s waste cooking oil collection is free and you may even be compensated for your oil, depending on the market and the volume you recycle. 

Types of Waste Oil at Restaurants 

There are different types of oil and not all are recycled the same way. The term “yellow grease,” often used interchangeably with the term “used cooking oil,” refers to vegetable oils mixed with the animal fats from rendering and cooking meats. This is what companies like ReGrease collect and recycle. 

The oil in your grease trap or interceptor (brown grease), for example, should never be combined with your used cooking oil. It requires a different process if it is to be recycled. Brown grease mixed in with UCO makes the UCO more difficult and expensive to recycle, and the company you work with may not be willing to pay you for your oil if it is contaminated. 

Used cooking oil recycling and the environment

Climate change is a topic that dominates news stories the world over. Whether it is rising oceans, the melting ice sheets, scorching temperatures, droughts or unbreathable air, the impact of man’s actions on the environment and what it means for this and future generations is a topic on everyone’s mind. 

Recycling cooking oil provides several environmental benefits including unclogging the many municipal sewer lines fouled by the solidification of used cooking oil that should not be flowing into them. Recycling cooking oil also keeps it out of our overflowing landfills. Also, when used cooking oil gets recycled into cleaner burning biodiesel and renewable diesel greenhouse gas emissions can be reduced up to 85%.

How to collect used cooking oil

Restaurant kitchens cooking with cooking oil eventually must dispose of the oil when it becomes unusable. Deep fat frying foods like chicken, fish and fries uses many gallons of oil each day and it has become a major expense for commercial kitchens. When the oil is ready to be disposed of (recycled) the oil is cooled and removed from the fryers and transferred to a used oil bin or tank. ReGrease provides free used cooking oil bins to its customers in Houston, San Antonio and Austin. These bins are made of heavy duty steel to prevent leaks and theft. The tops have grates to prevent dumping of solids into the bin that are not recyclable. There is a locking lid to prevent grease theft, an ever-growing problem. ReGrease also provides indoor bins such as ecotubs for easy and convenient storage of used oil and theft prevention.

Safety is a prime concern of every restaurateur and ReGrease offers an excellent, simple tool called a grease shuttle or shortening shuttle that makes it very safe and easy to transport oil from a fryer to the recycling bin.

Before your grease bin is full ReGrease will arrive with a “sucker truck” and vacuum the used oil from an outdoor waste oil bin or from an indoor used cooking oil tank. The software ReGrease uses employs an algorithm to predict when your grease bin will be near full and they will schedule your pickup so you won’t need to call. Of course, in an emergency, ReGrease is available 24/7 for all your needs. These are some of the capabilities that make ReGrease different and able to provide the best used cooking oil and grease trap service in Texas.

ReGrease is a local, TX-based recycler and appreciates getting to know its customers. It is always a good idea for the manager or for a chef to meet with our staff or owner to build a good working relationship.

How to save on cooking oil

With the cost of used cooking oil rising rapidly in recent years, restaurants have searched for ways to lower the expense. One way is to buy cheaper oil but with that option, you risk changing the flavor of your food—a huge problem for any restaurant—and ending up with oil that won’t last nearly as long as a higher-quality cooking oil.

The best solution for lowering the cost of cooking oil is to make your cooking oil last longer. You can do this by filtering your cooking oil regularly to remove burned foodstuffs that contaminate the oil. Cooking oil filter machines are not inexpensive, but they can increase the longevity of your cooking oil by 50% or more.

Some deep fat fryers, such as Vulcan and Dean are self-filtering fryers which means the oil is filtered within the fryer itself.

Filtering and polishing your oil along with following best practices for frying can make an enormous difference in what a restaurant spends on cooking oil.

When is your cooking oil no longer usable?

Cooking oil begins to break down with the very first use. Filtering and polishing extends the life of used cooking oil, but doesn’t make it eternal. High heat and water released from the food induce chemical changes which produce compounds such as aldehydes, ketones and alcohols. These chemicals eventually degrade the flavor of the food. Pieces of food break off as it cooks and become burned waste in your oil which causes the oil to smoke at a lower temperature. A smoking oil means your food won’t taste as good and may taint your food with an unpleasant burned flavor.

The number of times cooking oil can be used is a frequent question but there’s no straightforward answer. There are many variables: frying temperature, type of oil, filtering, polishing, the food that is cooked and frying practices. Your restaurant will need to test and create its own best practices to determine exactly how and when to replenish your oil. Still, there are some signs you can look for.

How do you know when to recycle your cooking oil? 

The best way to know if your oil needs to be recycled is to test it. A digital Testo 270 cooking oil tester measures the amount of TPM (total polar material) in your cooking oil. The colors registered on the device tell you whether your oil is still good or needs to be disposed of. You can also use cooking oil test strips and look at the various shades of a color on the test strip. This works but is a much less precise method than a digital tester.

Alternatively, you can check for the following signs, though your interpretation of them will be subjective.

Can you just throw dirty cooking oil away?

A question you often hear is “can I flush my old cooking oil down the toilet?” Or, can I throw cooking in the compost pile? Or, Can I toss dirty cooking oil in the garden or most often “can I throw used cooking oil down the drain or in the sink?”

The answer to all of these questions is an emphatic “No!”

Pouring oil down the sink or toilet

Flushing oil down the toilet or disposing in a sink is the worst way to dispose of old oil. Oil is liquid at room temperature but quickly solidifies below 54 degrees fahrenheit. That means your oil will clog pipes, backing up your plumbing and your neighbors’ plumbing as well, if it reaches the municipal water system. This can result in expensive repair costs, lawsuits, fines and citations for violation of municipal disposal and EPA regulations. These Popeye’s employees took a shortcut, dumping cooking oil in a municipal sewer grate and the company is paying a big price. Neighbors claimed basements were flooded due to the clogged pipes that resulted.

Municipalities the world over are fighting fatbergs, agglomerations of oil, grease and wipes

creating huge blockages in municipal wastewater systems causing millions in damages and cleanups.

Dumping used cooking oil in the garden or compost

It is tempting to dispose of cooking oil in a garden or compost pile. But, disposing of oil there will attract rodents and insects and eventually make its way into aquifers or the municipal sewer system.

The best way for a commercial kitchen to get rid of used cooking oil is to call a recycling company like ReGrease and have them pickup and recycle your oil to produce biodiesel or renewable diesel fuel, cleaner burning fuels that greatly reduce the production of greenhouse gases.

How many times can you use cooking oil before it breaks down?

With the war in Ukraine and climate disruptions in Canada the supply of cooking oil world wide was disrupted and dramatic price increases were seen in restaurant purchasing of cooking oil. The question of how many times cooking oil could be used became an important financial question for restaurants.

Unfortunately there is not hard and fast rule determining how many times you can reuse cooking oil. Cooking potatoes, you might be able to use eight times. Breaded meat or fish might mean only four or five uses. There are numerous factors which determine how many times you can reuse cooking oil. Those include the quality and type of oil you purchase, the types of food you are cooking and the temperature at which you cook. Higher temperatures will break down oil more quickly.

Then there is how you maintain for the oil you are cooking with. Filtering and polishing your cooking oil can increase the life of your oil up to 50%. Filtering refers to a mechanical straining process to remove burned food particles from the oil. Burned food particles cause an oil to break down more rapidly. Polishing powders chemically bind and remove contaminants such as blood helping to make your oil last longer.

Lastly, there are the best management practices your kitchen should observe to prevent early degradation of cooking oil. These include not salting or seasoning over the fryers, minimizing the water going into the fryers, turning off fryers and letting them rest when not in use for an extended period and covering the fryers when not in use.

What do you do with hamburger grease?

Hamburger grease should be drained and placed in your used cooking oil recycling bin. Rendered grease from meats can be recycled just like used cooking oil. 

When hamburger grease gets backed on the top of a stove that is trouble. This site recommends Zep foaming citrus degreaser followed by Goo-gone. Another method uses baking soda and vinegar in a 1:2 ratio letting the mixture sit on the baked on grease for 30 minutes.

Similarly, range hoods get greasy buildup from splatters from frying foods. The best solution is to keep it clean by wiping it down daily. As grease builds up try soap and water with a gentle cloth. If further cleaning is needed try a degreaser like Formula 409. 

What is the best oil to fry with?

This is a question which is asked often. Unfortunately, as with many questions, it depends on a number of factors including taste, temperature, price, and health. The first is taste. What you are cooking and how you want it to taste is paramount. The second factor is the temperature of your deep fryer. Oils have different smoke points; if you’re cooking at a very high temperature, you’ll need an oil that can reach that temperature without smoking. The price of the oil is critical to a restaurant as is the durability of the oil. And finally you should consider health. Some oils are considered healthier for consumers than others. Are your customers health conscious and is it an important factor in their choice of restaurants?

What cooking oils do the big restaurant chains use?

Among large purchasers of oil, the trend is to blend oils to get the characteristics they desire in terms of flavor, longevity, cost and smoke point. Cooking oil producers often do custom blends for their large customers. Studying the properties of blended oils allows purchasers to change the blends and achieve the properties they want even as prices change.

McDonald’s is said to use a blend of canola, corn and soybean oil. Wendys cooks its fries in corn oil. Burger Kings uses a blend of soybean and cottonseed oil. Chick-Fil-A uses a blend of canola and peanut oils. KFC uses a blend of canola and soybean oils. Quite often, a restaurant will use a different oil for different foods. It may use one type of oil for french fries and another to cook fish.

Is cooking oil flammable?

Cooking oil is highly flammable. The flash point, which is the temperature at which an oil produces vapors that when exposed to high heat can cause a fire, varies for different oils. 

But cooking oils and their vapors are a major source of fires in kitchens. In most vegetable oils flashpoint occurs around 315 degrees celsius.

This is one of the reasons it is important to have standard operating procedures in the kitchen and to know the flash point temperatures of the oils you are using. Here are a few tips to prevent an oil fire and deal with one should it occur:

  1. Always have a fire extinguisher handy in the kitchen
  2. Never try to put out a kitchen fire with water. It will make it worse.
  3. Fire blankets are handy and should be used.
  4. Never leave cooking oil unattended in a pan.
  5. Always heat oil in a cold pan. Never pour oil into a hot pan.

Ready to get started?

We invite both existing & prospective clients to join in our recycling movement to promote a cleaner and greener future. Contact us today to begin new service. We look forward to serving you!

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