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How to Dispose of Car Oil Properly

How to Dispose of Car Oil Properly

Disposing of car oil requires careful attention to conserve the environment. Ideally, even small quantities of used oil can cause a lot of damage to the surroundings. The US Environmental Protection Agency states that used oil contains toxic chemicals affecting wildlife, plants, and people hence this guide on how to dispose of car oil properly.

It is unlawful to dump used oil on the ground or flush it down the drainage in most states and countries. The amount of oil in a single oil change can contaminate millions of gallons of water.

It contains toxic pollutants that put you at risk of a fine or a jail term. Next is how to dispose of oil properly and reduce carbon footprint.

How to Dispose of Car Oil Properly

man refilling motor oil on car engine bay
Car oil change

Lay down a tarp to capture spillages when changing car oil. Ensure you don’t contaminate the oil with other substances or liquids. A wise approach to collecting it is putting a funnel in the container’s neck you want to use. This can be a pan or a used bottle.

After collecting all the oil, drain it from the filter into the pan. You can cover the pan underneath with a thick layer of newspapers to avoid soiling the ground.

Afterward, put the used oil and the filter into a plastic sealable bag. You can also pour the oil into a polyethylene container for easy handling.

How to recycle old oil

Recycling used oil is one of the best ways to ensure you don’t pollute the environment. The process is pretty simple and reduces the need for refining fresh oil. More so, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) tests note that recycled oil creates almost the same amount of energy in virgin oil and can be better in some cases.

The oil goes through a re-refining process to make it usable in vehicles again. This method uses less energy, making it more economical than refining virgin oil.

After collecting used car oil, empty the filter and seal it with a plastic bag since it could contain ounces of oil. Transport the two to an approved recycling facility.

Recycled oil is useful for energy recovery. The process involves removing particulates and water to make it fuel for generating industrial power. The used oil can also be re-refined by treating and removing impurities. This makes the oil usable as a base stock for lubricant oil, closing the recycling loop of manufacturing new oil.

It is crucial to store the used oil in a cool, dry place where it won’t pick dirt before transporting. Ensuring the oil doesn’t have contaminants is wise since most recyclers may reject it. If the used oil is dirty, your best shot to get rid of it is at a toxic waste disposal center.

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black and white plastic bottle
Car oil

Where to take used oil

Most states often offer hazardous-waste collection centers where you can take your used oil. Also, some authorities permit local firms to handle or dispose of the oil. These facilities include:

  • Aggregation points: These facilities accept oil from individuals and places run by the same operator. They store the oil in bulk before shipping it to recycling centers.
  • Collection centers: They accept used oil from multiple sources, both individuals and businesses.
  • Generators: They are the largest handlers of used oil. They handle it through commercial maintenance of equipment and vehicles. But again, the facilities exclude individual and commercial oil below management standards or less than 25 gallons per month. Common generators include service stations, repair shops, boat marines, and metalworking industries.
  • Marketers: These facilities handle direct shipments of old oil to serve as fuel in regulated devices. Whatever the cost, your used oil must meet certain EPA specifications before it can be accepted to fuel burners, industrial furnaces, or boilers.
  • Transporters: They are facilities that hold used oil for not more than 35 days. Ideally, they pick used oil from different sources and deliver it to processors, burners, or refiners. Excellent examples of oil transporters are parking areas and loading docks.

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How to clean spilled car oil on concrete

The best and safest way to clean oil spillages is to cover them with a layer of kitty litter and leave it for a few hours. The coating will sip up the oil plus any asphalt. You will then need to sweep and dispose of the oil.

Afterward, squirt some liquid washing soap on the concrete and scrub the area with a stiff brush. You can also use a bleaching solution for the job.

Frequently Asked Questions on Disposing Car Oil

How do I know if used oil is rebuttable?

Used oil with over one thousand ppm of halogens is hazardous waste. You can rebut this presumption by analyzing the oil to show that it doesn’t contain concentrations of risky constituents.

How can you manage used oil filters?

The best approach is to puncture the oil filter to drain the old oil that could have been left while changing. Afterward, contact your environmental agency to learn about recycling requirements regarding oil filters before disposing of them as scrap metal.

Should you mark used oil containers?

According to the Federal regulations, containers used to store or transport used oil should have a clear label marked ‘Used Oil’. It is advisable to inquire about additional requirements on used oil storage and transportation from your state agency.

Can you dump used oil in your yard?

Used oil should never be disposed of as regular garbage. It should be treated and recycled following the state law. More so, used oil is toxic and can pollute the environment.

Can you flush oil down the toilet?

It is unwise to pour oil into the toilet since it can clog sewer pipes or attract rodents and insects.

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Now that you know how to dispose of oil properly, it is crucial to research packaging requirements and protocol within your area. This will help you uncover the best channel to use instead of tossing the old oil into the bin.

Most AutoZone stores will accept it if you are unsure where to take the oil. You can get in touch with a friend to help you locate a recycling center near your area of residence.

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