Oil is a natural resource and an important part of the economy, but it is not indefinitely sustainable.
When it’s taken from the ground and refined, it becomes a highly polluting material with widespread harmful effects.
But there’s still a lot of good that can be done with old oil when it’s disposed of the right way.
You can know what to do with old oil using a few notable options.
The truth is we need oil for seamless running of lawnmowers, cars, motors and other machines.
With the increasing demand for oil all over the world, there is a need to find new oil sources and in turn create new jobs.
Any expenditure of crude oil, therefore, results in increased production and thereby growing economy.
However, we need to be careful with how we choose disposal of old oil.
Some old ways of disposing off used up or abandoned oil were polluting our environment.
The petroleum industry has come up with an effective solution as regards how to dispose of used oil: recycling it.
4 Ideas You can do with old oil
According to US Environmental Protection Agency, used oil is capable of contaminating over a million gallons of fresh water.
This is why those in the oil industry work towards recycling it or re-refining.
Recycling is a process that does not end with re-refining; it’s an ongoing process where oil is recycled and re-refined over and over again.
The end result is high-quality lubricating oil and less pollution.
In this regard, there are four practical on what to do with old and used oil.
Take old oil to an auto parts store
If you have a car, there’s a good chance that you’ll be throwing away old oil or used oil at some point.
So if you’re looking for an option on how to dispose of old oil, take it to an auto parts store.
Oil is one of the products that auto parts stores accept and even buy from their customers.
The auto part’s store will then sell the used oil to an automotive recycling company that is licensed and authorized by the US Department of Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
Many of the Advance Auto Parts stores and the AutoZone stores serve as designated old oil collection centers.
They can collect the used oil from you and help you dispose it off in an environmentally safe way.
They also have a drop-off program that enables their customers to drop off used oil for recycling at any time.
This service is free of charge and so is convenient for both the customer and the auto parts store.
Just call a nearby auto parts store, inform them that you want to dispose of old oil and ask for their help.
The AutoZone stores are even better as they take used oil from you for free.
All you need to do is simply drop it off during business hours.
Before taking the old oil to an auto parts store for proper disposal and recycling, ensure it’s stored in a clean plastic container.
Don’t mix it with anything else.
It is also recommended that the old oil be kept in a container that can close tightly to seal in the smell.
Be aware of the whole process involved in disposing of used oil, including the safety precautions.
Always follow instructions from those who work at auto parts stores and recycling companies that accept old oil for disposal.
Go to a recycling center
There are more than 5,000 authorized used oil recyclers that can recycle your used oil and provide you with useful information on how to dispose of old oil and where to take it.
Most of these recyclers are concentrated in the US, but some can be found in other parts of the world as well.
The oil that is collected from gas stations and auto parts stores is usually toxic, so it must be disposed of carefully.
If you want to dispose of your old oil at a recycling center, make sure that it’s taken to a local center that can take on the responsibility of properly disposing this hazardous material.
Essentially, the old oil is taken to a recycling plant where it’s re-refined into fuel oils.
The recycling process involves two main processes: burning and filtering.
Burning is used to remove any unwanted residues and impurities.
The oil that remains after burning is then filtered to get rid of tetra-ethyl lead (commonly referred to as TEL).
In the end, the re-refined oil is packaged and sold.
All states in the US have a used oil management program in place.
It’s mandatory for re-refined oil to meet all of the standard requirements.
It must also be non-hazardous.
This means that the re-refined oil must not contain any harmful substances such as lead, sulfur, benzene and other things or contaminants such as water, dirt and sand.
The re-refined oil must also meet the thickness specifications.
In other words, it should be similar to virgin oil.
Check the Earth 911 website for information on oil recycling centers in your area.
Take old oil to a municipal recycling facility
In some areas of the world, municipalities run their own used oil recycling facility for re-refining used oil into new products.
These facilities are pollution free, secure and environmentally friendly.
In such a recycling environment, the old oil is handled by professionals that know how to safely reuse it.
There are many reasons why you should take your old oil to a municipal recycling facility.
For instance, the old oil is properly handled and taken care of so that it doesn’t land up in a landfill or escape into the ground water, soil or air.
The recycling process is simple—the oil is taken to a re-refinery and recycled so that it can be used again for the same purposes.
Therefore, natural resources are conserved.
The final product that is produced from the old oil is new oil.
If you have old oil lying around in your garage, take it to a municipal recycling facility, preferably in your area.
You’ll be surprised at how many facilities exist and how helpful their resources can be.
In case, there are other household items that should be recycled, take this opportunity to drop them off at the recycling center as well.
You’ll sleep soundly at night knowing that you did your part in keeping the environment clean.
Take old oil to a hazardous waste facility
If you’re not sure where to take your old oil, take it to a centralized recycling facility that is licensed by the EPA and can receive and manage hazardous waste.
These recycling facilities are called Hazardous Waste Management Facilities (HWMFs).
If you visit an HWMF, they’ll be able to help you figure out how best to safely dispose of old oil.
You can search for HWMF’s using the hazardous waste search on the EPA website.
The EPA also has a list of 452 HWFs that can assist you in disposing off your used oil.
These facilities are equipped to deal with all types of hazardous wastes including old oil.
They’re also able to manage other hazardous materials that can be found in households such as cleaning products, pesticides, herbicides and so on.
Basic tips on handling old and used oil at home
Many people change their oil on a regular basis.
They do this because the car’s performance is improved and the risk of breakdowns and damage to the engine is minimized.
This increases the life of your car, which is seen as an added benefit in these modern times when cars are considered to be major investments.
You might be changing your oil frequently, but when you dispose of the old or used oil, you may end up leaving it lying around in your garage and this could pose a serious threat to your homes safety.
Some people dig a hole in the backyard and bury their old oil in the ground.
However, this is a massive risk to the environment as the oil can seep out and pollute the ground water.
Follow these basic tips to help keep your family safe from harmful pollutants and toxic substances that are emitted from old or used oil:
- Put a bucket or bin next to your car when you change your oil. Collect the used oil into this container and store it in a safe place in your garage. It could also be a good idea to put some kind of funnel into this container so that you can collect the oil from your car without spilling anything.
- If you want to dispose of your used oil, you should contact you’re the Municipal Office and ask them where the nearest waste collection facility is. You could also take this opportunity to ask them whether they have a recycling plant in your area. If they do, find out more about it—what types of oil are recycled there, what are the costs involved and so on.
- Used oil is insoluble, contains toxic chemicals and affixes to everything. This means that it damages the environment and spreads itself. For this reason, it’s important that you take used oil to a proper recycling center and dispose of it in a safe and environmentally friendly manner.
- It’s also slow to degrade, which means that it takes longer to break down compared to other harmful toxins. Some experts also believe that used oil contains heavy metals, PCBs, antimony and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). These chemicals, which are known as persistent organic pollutants (POPs) are extremely harmful to human health and the environment.
Recycling your old oil is a great way to save the environment and keep your family safe.
With every car owner wanting a clean environment, it’s important that you find out what can be done with old oil.
You’ll feel more relaxed knowing that your old oil won’t harm the environment or your family.
Since used oil has a long life cycle, it goes a long way in keeping the environment clean.
Can i pour oil down the drain?
No, Used motor oil is quite toxic and a major pollutant of the soil and waterways.
When it’s poured down the drain, it goes into the water system and can contaminate the surrounding area.
Since its insoluble, it can harm fish and other marine animals.
It’s so toxic that it can even harm humans, who may come into contact with it.
Industrial facilities and oil refineries are equipped to deal with old oil and disposing of used oil often takes place on a big scale, in special facilities called hazardous waste or treatment companies.
Can you pour oil in the garden?
No, Old oil should never be poured into the garden.
It’s toxic and can pollute the soil and ground water.
The best way to dispose of your old oil is to take it to a proper facility or call the Environmental Protection Agency and ask for the nearest facility in your area where you can take it to.