Oils and lubricants are essential resources to keep vehicles running smoothly. However, used oil contains a variety of potentially harmful components, including heavy metals, PCBs (Polychlorinated Biphenyl, a banned substance), and other contaminants. When released into the environment, these components can contaminate soil and water sources, leading to long-term environmental damage and posing a risk to human health.
Drivers, fleet owners, and industrial machine operators have a responsibility to ensure that their activities do not harm the environment. When it comes to the disposal of oil from vehicles and machinery, what should they do? This article outlines three common and safe methods for disposing of it effectively.
Recycling, Reusing, and Proper Disposal
Recycling is an effective way of dealing with used oil. Instead of disposing of it, it can be recycled and reused. Recycling involves refining and cleaning the oil to remove impurities, making it suitable for reuse. It can be used in various applications, such as asphalting roads, heating buildings, and fueling industrial burners.
Reusing the old oil is another excellent way of managing it. Although it may not be suitable for use in high-performance vehicles, it can be applied in less demanding applications such as lubricating garden tools and chainsaws. When reusing oil, it’s essential to filter it to remove any impurities that may affect its performance. Proper filtration also ensures it does not contaminate the equipment it’s used in.
When recycling or reusing oil is not possible, it is important to dispose of it carefully and responsibly. This typically involves engaging the services of a professional waste management provider who specializes in the safe handling and disposal of used motor oil and other waste products.
The first step in proper disposal is storing it in a leak-proof container, such as a metal drum or plastic container. It is important to label the container correctly and keep it in a secure location that is not accessible to children or animals until the collection date.
In the United States, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulates the management of used oil under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA). The regulations require used oil to be managed as hazardous waste unless it meets specific criteria for exemption.
The law mandates that oil must be stored in leak-proof containers and transported by licensed hazardous waste transporters.
EPA – SPPC Guidelines
The SPCC (Spill Prevention, Control, and Countermeasure) guidelines were developed by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to prevent oil spills from reaching navigable waters of the United States or adjoining shorelines. Facilities that generate, store, transport, or dispose of used oil must develop and implement a plan to prevent oil spills and respond quickly and effectively if a spill occurs.
EPA – The Clean Water Act
The Clean Water Act (CWA) is a federal law that regulates water quality in the United States. The law prohibits the discharge of pollutants into navigable waters without a permit. The CWA also sets standards for oil spill prevention, control, and countermeasures.
Are you looking for a service provider to guarantee compliance and reduce the risks related to handling oil and other waste materials? Look no further! Select Environmental, an MSP company, has helped customers navigate the challenging landscape of waste disposal for over 30 years. Companies can trust the experts at Select to properly handle and dispose of waste products. Contact us today!