How To Manage, Reuse, And Recycle Used Motor Oil

The meaning of used oil is quite self-explanatory, it is exactly what the name suggests. It is any synthetic or petroleum-based oil that has been used and is contaminated with impurities. Oil keeps our lawnmowers, cars and many other machines running smoothly. During normal use however, impurities such as chemicals, metal scrapings, dirt or water can get mixed in with the oil. When this happens, the oil will seize to perform well with time. In the end, this used oil must be replaced with re-defined or virgin oil to do the job correctly.

How to handle used oil at home

If you are among the numerous people who change their own car oil, then you need to know how to properly manage the used oil. Keep in mind that used oil from just one oil change has the potential of terminating one million gallons of fresh water which is equivalent to a year’s supply for 50 people. Therefore, make sure that you take the following key points into consideration when handling used oil:

  • Used oil is slow to degrade
  • Used oil is a major source of oil contamination of waterbodies which may result in the pollution of drinking water sources
  • Used motor oil is persistent, insoluble and may contain heavy metals and toxic chemicals
  • Used oil sticks to everything including bird feathers and beach sand

Do you change the oil in your car by yourself at home? On average, an estimated four million people either reuse car oil to lubricate other equipment or take the waste oil to a recycling facility. Should you opt to recycle your used oil, ensure that you take care not to spill any of it when you are collecting the oil. Also, make sure that you place it in a container or can that is leak-proof.

If you opt for waste oil collection, check with government waste officials, waste collectors and local automobile maintenance facilities to see where and when you can drop off your used oil either for disposal or recycling. Also, remember to drain and recycle your used oil filters. Usually, oil filters can also be dropped off at the same collection centers where you deposit the used oil.

Benefits of recycling and reusing used oil

Reusing and recycling used car oil is preferable to disposal since it can provide major benefits to the environment. Used motor oil can be recycled and processed into fuel oils, re-refined into new oil or used as raw materials for the petroleum industry.Used motor oils such as gear oils used in bikes, lawnmowers or cars, engine lubrication oil or hydraulic fluids can greatly pollute the environment if they are not disposed of properly or recycled.

For proper used oil management, it is important that you take your used motor oil to automotive repair shops or local waste management authorities. This will help prevent contaminating the environment. Since used oil filters also pose the same waste concerns, they can be safely disposed or recycled if properly drained.

Here are some of the reasons why you should recycle, and reuse used motor oil:

  • Producing a gallon of re-refined base stock requires less energy than producing the same from crude oil
  • Recycling used oil keeps it from contaminating the environment mainly water and soil
  • Just one gallon of used motor oil can provide the same 2.5 quarts of lubrication oil produced from 42 gallons of crude oil
  • Recycling used motor oil saves a valuable resource because the oil does not wear out but just gets dirty

The most preferred option for recycling and re-refining used oil must meet rigorous refining, compounding and performance standards not only for use as heavy-duty diesel and virgin oil in automotive but also for the production of gear oils, hydraulic fluids and other internal combustion engines. Used motor oil undergoes extensive field studies and laboratory testing before it is taken back to be re-used.

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