It’s great to have a diesel vehicle running on vegetable oil because you can get waste vegetable oil cheaply. If you read through the other pages on this site it will go into what’s required for a vegetable oil conversion. What this post will clarify is how exactly you can acquire waste vegetable oil.
It’s no good having a converted car or truck and finding there are no easy sources of vegetable oil. The most obvious source of waste vegetable oil is restaurants. They won’t call it WVO, they will know what you’re talking about if you say “fryer oil” or “frying oil”. It’s the same thing.
The best places to get WVO are independent restaurants. Chains often have policies against selling WVO to anyone who asks because often the same business that takes their rubbish (ie dumpster) also takes their WVO as part of the payment. It is more difficult to negotiate with chains because the managers there have their hands tied due to corporate policies.
Chinese cuisine offers your best bet at getting WVO, greasy burger places come a little bit behind in terms of the oil they use. Also the oil is less likely to be full of impurities compared to burger joints.
Small restaurant owners or managers are busy people, so it’s best to approach them during a non-busy part of the day. Maybe order a meal there and then ask to speak to the manager. If it’s not busy they’re keen for a brief chat.
Explain to them that you have a diesel car or truck that you’ve converted to run on vegetable oil and you’re after a source of oil. If possible, see if you can get a sample from them. You might even have to pay them a small amount to secure the oil.
Always bring your own container and leave the kitched tidy and clean when you go to pick up the oil. When they have oil to dispose of, again arrive at a non-busy time and don’t take up too much time collecting the oil. Never miss a collection because if you do, then they have to find someone else who will take it off their hands and then they may never offer it to you again. So if you are going away, try to have some other arrangement in place for someone to take the oil.
It’s somewhat of a numbers game and if the first few restaurants are not keen, then keep trying.