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Oct 2, 2010 04:24 AM

Cooking oil recycling

Where in the greater LA metro area can I take used cooking oil for recycling. I hate to toss several containers of used oil in my black bin.

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  1. There's a small but growing community of biodiesel car owners. Your used cooking oil is a valuable source of fuel for them. You might try contacting as a start. And of course, if you know anyone who knows someone who drives a biodiesel car, they'll typically be glad to take it off your hands.

    1 Reply
    1. re: bulavinaka

      some friends did a doc about biodiesel around 1995.

      I think Nikki is still in SoCal, she'd know where to take it if you can track her contact info through the link.

    2. While I like bulavinaka's idea better, I look left, right and behind before I pour mine into the dumpster sized receptecles (don't tell anyone) at the rear of the 99 Ranch Market and various restaurants in Van Nuys. The restaurant workers on a cigarette break haven't bothered me.

      99 Ranch
      17713 Pioneer Blvd, Artesia, CA

      10 Replies
      1. re: sel

        If you were slipping quarters into the cash register they wouldn't bother you, either. That used oil isn't worth a lot, but it's worth something. I have a friend who filters used deep-fryer oil and feeds it to his diesel Mercedes. He refuses to pay more than $0.50 a gallon...

        1. re: sel

          Thanks, sel. And as alanbarnes states, this stuff is money if "funneled" to the right sources, as is motor oil - in fact, in think just about any oil. I used to bring my old motor oil to the local gas stations after doing oil changes on my car back in my youth (yes, they did have automobiles back then!). The guys were more than happy to take it because the oil reclamation service would actually give them a bit of dough for the seemingly worthless (and toxic) stuff.

          I'm around Venice a lot - a fair amount of Green folks there - both residents and transients - and some have bio-diesel autos and buses. Residents will often leave those huge jugs of vegetable oil from Costco sitting around their homes. I've also seen the buses (think "hippies" or "Partridge Family" buses) pulling up behind some of the local restaurants to ask for any spare used cooking oil. The conversion process is a little involved, but I guess at least some biodiesel vehicle owners are up to it...

          1. re: bulavinaka

            actually the conversion process isn't really involved at all. it's gathering the base material that's the pain.

            1. re: hill food

              I think if one is set up for the whole process, it's not so bad. The filtration/collection container, the heating/mixing container, proper storage area for used oil, converted oil and other components, etc. But from a practical point of view, it's pretty sloppy, potentially dangerous (lye, methanol, heating element), and requires relatively precise measurements. I think one has to be fully committed to this whole system and have what it takes in terms of space and effort to make it work.

              1. re: bulavinaka

                Actually, there are plenty of folks who just filter the oil and put it straight into the tank. In warm weather it works fine. In colder weather the oil needs to be mixed with processed (bio- or petro-) disel fuel.

                1. re: bulavinaka

                  My bicycle runs on french fries. Does that count? ;-D>

                  1. re: Servorg

                    Great bumper sticker on a veggie oil car: "Your Fries Give Me Gas."

              2. re: bulavinaka

                My husband had a veggie oil car (converted Diesel Mercedes) for a couple years, but we finally got rid of it because it was too unreliable. I suspect the fuel was not the problem but rather the fact that the car was 20 years old. Anyway, the guy that he got the oil from had some kind of centrifugal filtering system to clean up the oil - not something most people would have or want in their garages! And the car smelled like french fries all the time (not necessarily a bad thing).

              3. re: sel

                "The restaurant workers on a cigarette break haven't bothered me."

                Bother's me when they're taking that cigarette break in the kitchen while they're cooking.

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