Where does cooking oil come from

Edible fats and oils

Central statement

Edible fats and oils that are no longer used do not belong in the wastewater. They can clog the pipes over time. Edible fats and oils should be collected separately and recycled as high quality waste.

Other terms / synonyms

Used or spoiled, vegetable or animal frying fat, shortening, frying fat, grill fat, used fat, used cooking fat, used cooking oil; Lard; Content of grease traps.
Waste, here edible fats and oils, are substances or objects that their owner discards, wants to discard or has to discard. After going through a recycling process and the end of the waste property has been determined, it is no longer waste (for the definition of waste, see Section 3 (1), end of the waste property according to Section 5 of the Recycling Management Act).
Edible fats and oils from commercial operations etc. are to be classified as commercial municipal waste (cf. legal definition for "commercial municipal waste" in Section 2 No. 1 Commercial Waste Ordinance).


Used edible fats and oils occur in private households, restaurants, catering facilities and kitchens, snack bars, bakeries, canteens etc. as a separate waste fraction. The wastewater from the above-mentioned companies is fed through grease separators.


Edible fats and oils are of animal and vegetable origin, with oils mainly obtained from plants (seeds and fruits, e.g. nuts). They are solid, semi-solid or liquid at room temperature, depending on the proportion of saturated and unsaturated fatty acids. When heated, the fats also quickly become liquid. Fats / oils, as the name suggests, have a greasy / oiling effect and act as solvents for other organic substances. As organic substances, they are flammable. Vegetable oils and animal fats are very easily biodegradable.
The temperatures in sewers and sewers are usually below room temperature. Fats and oils that seem to have dissolved with the surfactants contained in detergents can split off again. Edible fats that are poured into the pipelines via the spout can therefore clog over time.
In private households and the catering industry, vegetable frying oils and fats are predominantly used for disposal, possibly also the vegetable oil from canned fish. Overlaid or spoiled fats and oils should be the exception.

Statistical data

According to the household waste balance of Bavaria 2018, 76 of the 96 bodies subject to mandatory disposal (districts, urban districts, waste special purpose associations) record "used fat" in the bring system. The collected amount of used cooking fats and oils was 1,068 t (total amount from 70 corporations).


For reasons of shelf life, edible fats and oils should be refrigerated and stored in the dark or frozen (butter, etc., be careful with oil in glass bottles). The vegetable oil from pickled vegetables, fish or feta, etc. should be used for cooking if possible.


Edible fats and oils can be used as follows:

Production of digester and biogas:

Edible fats and oils can be used in biogas plants and digestion towers in sewage treatment plants to generate biogas or digester gas. These gases can then be used to generate heat and electricity.

Processing to fuel:

Biofuel can be produced from edible fats and oils in specialized chemical plants.

Use in combustion / engine / systems with combined heat and power:

Energy recovery from waste is usually only possible in sufficiently energy-efficient plants that meet the requirements of the 17th ordinance for the implementation of the Federal Immission Control Act (17th BImSchV). Internal combustion engine systems do not meet these requirements. A z. B. Use of used cooking oils in engines would only be possible if the oils were processed in such a way that no different or higher emissions than those caused by the combustion of EL heating oil can occur when they are burned. The LfU is not aware of any suitable processing methods that can be used in practice.

Disposal of normal household quantities

Edible fats and edible oils do not belong in the sink, as they cause domestic and communal pipelines to cause deposits and blockages and unnecessarily complicate the clarification process in the sewage treatment plants.

The rural districts, independent cities or waste disposal associations usually accept edible fat and edible oil from private households at the municipal recycling center, possibly also via the problem waste collection. Whether and how this is organized or which disposal is otherwise recommended can be researched via the municipal waste advice service or the waste ABC.
At the recycling centers in Upper and Lower Bavaria, the “Oli” collection system is particularly widespread. See also DBU: Project "Every drop counts".

Wherever there is no separate collection of cooking fat and cooking oil, they can be disposed of as residual waste or, if necessary, via the organic waste bin (however, only inquire with the responsible municipality whether disposal via the organic waste bin is permitted). A larger amount of liquid cooking oil can be packaged, e.g. B. in a plastic bottle, can be disposed of in the residual waste bin. Pans with fat can be wiped out with paper kitchen towels or used napkins, etc., and the towels can be disposed of in the residual waste. Margarine and salad dressings, etc., which contain other ingredients in addition to fat or oil, can also be disposed of with residual waste (including liquids, because residual waste usually contains absorbent materials and is packed in plastic bags) or, if applicable, as organic waste (ask municipal waste advice) to dispose.

Disposal of larger or commercial quantities

Restaurants, catering facilities and kitchens, canteens, slaughterhouses and butchers etc. are obliged to use grease separators to separate or filter organic fats and oils from the wastewater for the reasons mentioned above and other reasons (such as odor formation, pest infestation). Used cooking oils and used cooking oils as well as fat separator contents are to be recycled as high-quality waste as possible via specialized disposal companies. Companies that operate as food waste disposal companies or those that have specialized in the disposal of cooking fats and oils or the contents of grease traps come into question. Companies that are certified as waste disposal companies can be researched using the specialist company register (waste code 20 01 25).
In principle, all fats of animal origin are also accepted by the processing plants for animal by-products (so-called VTN according to VDI 2590; formerly: "animal carcass disposal plants") and processed into so-called "animal fat". There is only a surrender obligation for animal by-products of categories 1 and 2 (for definitions see Articles 8 and 9 of Regulation (EC) No. 1069/2009).
Edible oils and edible fats from canteens in trade, industry and the waste disposal sites affected by the Commercial Waste Ordinance (GewAbfV) are to be classified as waste under Chapter 20 of the Annex to the Waste Catalog Ordinance and thus classified as commercial municipal waste. With § 3 Abs. 1 and 3 GewAbfV the producers and owners of commercial municipal waste, z. B. also of bio-waste, to separate collection and recovery through preparation for reuse or recycling as well as to document disposal. The GewAbfV only provides for exceptions to the separation requirement in the event of technical impossibility or economic unreasonableness. The Federal / State Waste Working Group has issued an implementation guide for the Commercial Waste Ordinance, which is intended to standardize its implementation.

Brief legal information

According to the Recycling Management Act (KrWG), waste is to be avoided as far as possible, and unavoidable waste (here edible fats / oils) to be recycled. Subordinate is the other harmless, z. B. Energy recovery; if the waste cannot be recycled, it must be disposed of (waste hierarchy). The disposal of commercial municipal waste is regulated with the GewAbfV.
The use and disposal of animal by-products is regulated by Regulation (EC) No. 1069/2009, the Animal By-Product Disposal Act and the ordinance of the same name (see BMEL "Disposal and use of animal by-products"). See also StMUV: Animal by-products.
The KrWG, the Biowaste Ordinance (BioAbfV) and the animal by-products law (TierNebG, TierNebV, Regulation (EC) No. 1069/2009) can be applied in parallel in certain cases. The KrWG applies to animal by-products that fall under Regulation (EC) No. 1069/2009 if they are incinerated, deposited in a landfill or recycled in a biogas or composting plant (Section 2 (2) No. 2 KrWG ). If the animal by-products are biowaste due to their origin and composition, the requirements of the Biowaste Ordinance (BioAbfV) apply for use in a biogas plant and for the agricultural, horticultural or forestry utilization of the digestate. More information can be found in Chapter 2.2.3 Waste Management in the Bavarian Biogas Handbook.
Vegetable edible fats and oils are biomass within the meaning of the Biomass Ordinance, from which green electricity or biofuels and bio-heating fuels can be produced. The legislature strives for sustainable electricity, fuel and heat generation for reasons of climate protection (see "Regulations and rules"). The eligibility of processed fats and oils as biofuels is regulated by Section 37b (8) No. 3 BImSchG and the 36th BImSchV.
The district administrative authority (district office or district-free city) is responsible for general monitoring in accordance with the KrWG and for the implementation of the commercial waste ordinance. It is entitled to request documentation of proper and harmless disposal from the waste owners and waste producers. The responsibilities in animal by-product law are regulated by the ordinance on consumer health protection. If you have general questions about animal by-products, it is advisable to contact the district administrative authority. The municipalities or special purpose associations regulate the disposal of waste generated in their areas with waste management statutes.

Possible AVV waste codes

20 01 25 edible oils and fats

Rules and regulations

Waste, air: Law to promote the circular economy and ensure environmentally friendly waste management (Recycling Law - KrWG) of February 24, 2012 (Federal Law Gazette I p. 212), last amended by Article 2, paragraph 9 of the law of July 20, 2017 (Federal Law Gazette I p . 2808) has been changed
Ordinance on the recycling of biowaste on soils used for agricultural, forestry and horticultural purposes (Biowaste Ordinance - BioAbfV) of April 4, 2013 (Federal Law Gazette I p. 2482), last amended by Article 3 Paragraph 2 of the Ordinance of September 27, 2017 (Federal Law Gazette. I p. 3465) has been changed
Ordinance on the management of commercial municipal waste and of certain construction and demolition waste (Commercial Waste Ordinance - GewAbfV) of April 18, 2017 (Federal Law Gazette I p. 896), which is amended by Article 2 Paragraph 3 of the Act of July 5, 2017 (Federal Law Gazette I P. 2234) has been changed Communication 34 of the Federal / State Working Group on Waste (LAGA), implementation aid for the Commercial Waste Ordinance, requirements for producers and owners of commercial municipal waste, as well as certain construction and demolition waste, for operators of pre-treatment and processing plants, status 11 February 2019; forwarded by the Bavarian State Ministry for the Environment and Consumer Protection with a letter dated May 2nd, 2019 to the subordinate authorities for the purpose of proper execution
Ordinance on the generation of electricity from biomass (Biomasse Ordinance - BiomasseV) of June 21, 2001 (Federal Law Gazette I p. 1234), which was last amended by Article 8 of the Act of October 13, 2016 (Federal Law Gazette I p. 2258)
Ordinance on requirements for the sustainable production of liquid biomass for electricity generation (Biomass Electricity Sustainability Ordinance - BioSt-NachV) of July 23, 2009 (Federal Law Gazette I p. 2174), last amended by Article 1 of the Ordinance of June 26, 2018 (Federal Law Gazette. I p. 872) has been changed
Thirty-sixth ordinance for the implementation of the Federal Immission Control Act (ordinance for the implementation of the regulations of the biofuel quota - 36th BImSchV) of January 29, 2007 (Federal Law Gazette I p. 60), last amended by Article 1 of the Ordinance of April 4, 2016 (Federal Law Gazette. I p. 590, 1318) has been changed
Ordinance on requirements for sustainable production of biofuels (Biofuel Sustainability Ordinance - Biokraft-NachV) of September 30, 2009 (Federal Law Gazette I p. 3182), last amended by Article 2 of the Ordinance of June 26, 2018 (Federal Law Gazette I p. 872) has been changed to the law on protection against harmful environmental impacts from air pollution, noise, vibrations and similar processes (Federal Immission Control Act - BImSchG) of May 17, 2013 (Federal Law Gazette I p. 1274), which was last amended by Article 1 of the Act of 8 April 2019 (Federal Law Gazette I p. 432) has been changed
Animal by-products: Act for the implementation of Community regulations on the processing and disposal of animal by-products not intended for human consumption (Animal By-Product Disposal Act - TierNebG) of 25 January 2004 (Federal Law Gazette I p. 82), which was last amended by Article 1 of the Act of 4 August 2016 (Federal Law Gazette I, p. 1966) has been changed
Ordinance for the implementation of the Animal By-Product Disposal Act (TierNebV) of July 27, 2006 (Federal Law Gazette I, p. 1735), last amended by Article 3 of the law of December 4, 2018 (Federal Law Gazette I, p. 2254) Regulation (EC) No. 1069/2009 of October 21, 2009 with hygiene regulations for animal by-products not intended for human consumption and for the repeal of Regulation (EC) No. 1774/2002 (Regulation on animal by-products) (ABl. EU L 300 of November 14, 2009, page 1), last amended by Article 46 of Regulation (EU) 2019/1009 of June 5, 2019 (OJ EU L 170 of June 25, 2019, page 1)
Regulation (EU) No. 142/2011 of February 25, 2011 for the implementation of Regulation (EC) No. 1069/2009 of the European Parliament and of the Council with hygiene regulations for animal by-products not intended for human consumption and for the implementation of Directive 97 / 78 / EC with regard to certain samples and goods exempted from veterinary controls at the border in accordance with the aforementioned directive (OJ EU L 54 of 26.2.2011, p. 1), last amended by Art. 46 of Regulation (EU) 2019/2124 of 10 October 2019 (OJ EU L 321 of 12.12.2019, p.73) Act to implement the Animal By-Product Disposal Act (BayAGTierNebG) of August 11, 1978 (GVBl. P. 525), which was last amended by Section 9 of the Act of July 12, 2017 (GVBl. P. 366) has been changed
Ordinance on consumer health protection (Health Consumer Protection Ordinance - GesVSV) of August 1, 2017 (GVBl. P. 402), which was last amended by ordinance of October 7, 2019 (GVBl. P. 602) The KrWG and not here Linked regulations can be found in the LfU's Environmental Management Info Center in the Waste menu, the 36th BImSchV, the BImSchG or the Renewable Energy Sources Act not listed above in the Air or Energy / Climate menu.

Further reading, publications, information

BLE Federal Agency for Agriculture and Food: Sustainable biomass production. - Online information, Bonn.
BMEL Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture (undated): Animal by-products. - Online information, Berlin, Bonn.
UBA Federal Environment Agency (2019): Brown rat, preventive measures. - Online information, Dessau-Roßlau.
LGL Bavarian State Office for Health and Food Safety (2018): Border area food - animal by-products. - Online information, Erlangen
UBA (2019): Bioenergy. - Online information, Dessau-Roßlau.
C.A.R.M.E.N. e.V., https://www.carmen-ev.de/.
Technology and support center in the competence center for renewable raw materials, http://www.tfz.bayern.de/. BfR Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (2017): Protection against food infections in private households. - Online information, Bonn.
DBU Deutsche Bundesstiftung Umwelt (undated): Recycle used fats: every drop counts. - Online information, Osnabrück.

info sheet "Edible fats and oils"

The publication series "infoBlatt" by the Bavarian State Office for the Environment gives valuable tips on the treatment of individual types of waste.

This website is an excerpt from the info sheet "Edible Fats and Edible Oils", which you can download here as a free PDF document. The PDF version also contains all sources.

info sheet "Edible fats and oils" - PDF