Recycle Used Oil
The Facts About Used Oil
Used motor oil never wears out — it just gets dirty and can be recycled, cleaned and used again. Motor oil poured onto the ground or into storm drains, or tossed into trash cans (even in sealed containers) can contaminate and pollute the soil, groundwater, streams, and rivers.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates that over 200 million gallons of do-it-yourself used oil ends up in the trash, in water and poured on the ground each year.That’s more than one million gallons of used oil that affects water quality and wildlife habitats each year in Kansas City alone!
Recycling used motor oil reduces this pollution threat. When you recycle used oil, you are protecting the environment and conserving a valuable resource.
Recycling used oil helps protect ground and surface waters, fish and wildlife and conserves energy. If recycled, the oil could save about a half million barrels of crude oil each year, worth nearly $10 million dollars.
Used oil from ATVs, jet skis, boats, lawn mowers, weed eaters, and other motorized items threatens the environment just as much as oil from automobiles.
What's the problem?
Used motor oil can contain concentrations of toxic heavy metals such as zinc, lead, and cadmium that affect the environment, including wildlife, vegetation, surface water and drinking water supplies when not disposed of properly.
One quart of oil poured down a storm drain can contaminate one million gallons
of water. Water
that goes down storm drains does not go to treatment plants.
One pint of oil can produce a slick of approximately one acre of water.
When oil enters a body of water, a film develops on the surface that blocks out sunlight that plants and other organisms need to live.
Other automotive fluids, including antifreeze, solvents and gasoline are also harmful to the environment when not disposed of correctly. When used motor oil is mixed with other automotive fluids, it is considered contaminated and cannot be collected for recycling.
What Can You Do?
There are things that every citizen can do at home and in their community to help prevent illegal dumping and oil pollution to our water:
Recycle used motor oil at a local used oil collection center. Visit www.marc.org to find the nearest location.
Request re-refined motor oil when you get your oil changed. Re-refined motor oil must meet the same American Petroleum Institute (API) certification standards as virgin motor oil.
Leaky cars are a big source of oil pollution and other automotive fluids. Have your car checked for any leaking fluids that might run-off into storm drains.
Recycle and re-use oil filters. Recycling one ton of drained oil filters
produces 1,700 pounds of steel and recovers about 60 gallons of used oil.
Community storm drain stenciling events are a good way to get the word out about what should and shouldn’t go down stormdrains. Many programs focus on the dangers of mixing oil and water.
If you change your own oil, get a reusable used oil container. Drain the oil carefully into the container, avoiding splatter and spills.