Oil is a serious water contaminant and a constant problem in sewer lines and septic systems. It accumulates on the insides of pipes, blocking them off. On open bodies of water, it rises to the top and forms a thin film which prevents the water from oxygenating, causing widespread damage to aquatic and avian wildlife. While it is okay to wash greasy pots and pans in the sink or dishwasher, any freestanding waste oil should be disposed of in the garbage, not down the drain.

Things You'll Need

Separate unwanted corn oil from food products by waiting for it to rise to the top of the mixture and then skimming it off. For freestanding excess oil from your pots and pans, this step is unnecessary.

Pour the waste oil into a durable container. The container should be strong and have a lid that seals tightly so that it will not be ruptured during handling by the garbage truck and shipment to the landfill. If you use a lot of oil in your home cooking, you can use a larger container to collect the waste oil over time, which is more efficient and will reduce container waste.

Throw the sealed container of waste oil into the regular garbage bin—not the recycling or compost bins.


  • These instructions apply to all forms of kitchen waste oil, not just corn oil. Different waste oils can be mixed.

  • The used oil can also be recycled into things like soap and bio-diesel fuel. Check to see if there are any specialized kitchen oil recycling centers in your area. Do not throw the waste oil container into your regular recycling bin.