environmental impact of waste cooking oil

Environment & Business Impact

Waste cooking oil can block drainage systems

Pouring used or waste cooking oil (UCO/WCO) down the sink or drains can cause waste to congeal and block public sewers. The backed-up sewage can then spill into rivers and streams.

blocked drain from waste cooking oil blocked drain from waste cooking oil courtesy of Thames Valley Water


Environmental Impact

Untreated sewage effluent and waste oil in the water causes oxygen levels to drop drastically, sewage fungus covers the bed of the watercourse like a blanket and in more severe cases the river can no longer support fish, insects and animals that live in and around the water.

Potential consequences for business

The impact on your business could involve increased drainage maintenance costs, emergency flooding and water damage call out charges, and even fines from the local water authority.

Rats and Vermin feed from the solidified waste cooking oil which could create a pest control problem or health hazard.

Oil Storage Regulations (OSR)

environment agency logo regulations

The Environment Agency have specific responsibility for oil storage at industrial, commercial, institutional and large domestic premises under the Control of Pollution (Oil Storage) (England) Regulations 2001.

There are measures in place to deal with oil pollution of all kinds, including mineral oils, fuel oils and vegetable oils, and identifies possible further actions.

200L requires secure containment facilities

The Regulations require anyone who stores more than 200 litres of oil in England to provide more secure containment facilities for tanks, drums, Intermediate Bulk Containers (IBCs) and mobile bowsers, to prevent oil escaping into the environment.

Environment Agency OSR