For most consumers cars are a necessity, and therefore so is the oil needed to keep them going. Although it may be common to recycle items like paper, glass and metals, there are even more ways to protect the environment. By recycling used motor oil from cars, trucks, motorcycles, boats, RVs or lawnmowers, one can not only save energy, but also conserve a valuable resource. Recycling petroleum products might seem intimidating and can even be confusing. Regulators and recycling agencies have effectively communicated the needs and the benefits of recycling motor oil to businesses, but there could be more improvement in communicating with individuals who choose to work on their own vehicles. Consequently, these individuals contribute to large amounts of spent petroleum products that ought to be recycled. Many individuals are unfamiliar with the importance of recycling used motor oil and may be unconsciously harming the environment by disposing of these products improperly. According to The American Petroleum Institute, just one gallon of used motor oil can contaminate 1 million gallons of water. Recycling used motor oil keeps this potentially harmful substance out of our rivers, streams and most importantly, groundwater supplies. If motor oil seeps into the groundwater, this can possibly affect our drinking water and ultimately affect your health and cost you more money. Although the federal government does not consider used motor oil to be a hazardous waste, California, Massachusetts and Rhode Island require special handling for this substance. In all other states, used motor oil is treated as a typical household hazardous waste like paint, stains, varnishes, pesticides and cleaning products. API believes there are many practical uses for used motor oil. For example, this substance can be refined into a base stock for lubricating oil. To put this in perspective, this process is similar to refining crude oil. In the end, the resulting product is as high quality as the original oil. This refined oil can be reused in your vehicle again. A secondary use for old motor oil is clean-burning energy. Large boilers can efficiently burn used oil with minimum pollution created. For small businesses, burning small quantities for specially designed heaters can provide space heating. For those of who like to do it themselves, API offers a step-by-step guide to properly change your motor oil (scroll down to question 11). After collecting the used oil, API encourages one to take it to the nearest accepting recycling facility. API states oil is an essential part of an engine’s life by keeping your vehicle running efficiently through all weather extremes. To maintain the full life of your vehicle, API encourages drivers to change and recycle their motor oil as recommended by the vehicle owner’s manual. As one can see, motor oil may touch your life whether you realize it, and drivers need to recognize the consequences of oil’s improper disposal. API believes all consumers can benefit from recycling their motor oil by dropping off used motor oil at a recycling facility or choosing a shop that responsibly recycles. Recycling used motor oil can help prevent pollution, can help keep your car running smoothly and can conserve energy for a safer and healthier tomorrow. Click here to find your nearest used motor oil recycling location.
Recycling Motor Oil: The Environmental and Economic Choice
Spilled motor oil can cause major environmental damage, affecting human health and checkbooks in the process. Always recycle motor oil to ensure safe handling.