Anyone that drives a car or operates machines such as lawnmowers will have used oil. This is because the oil has to be changed at some point. It is, therefore, necessary to learn how to collect and dispose of used oil as well as to manage it properly.
If you prefer to DIY when it comes to changing your motor oil, then you must learn how to handle used oil. If you are one of the many people who change their own motor oil, you too need to know how to properly manage the used oil.
Be Careful With Used Oil
Just a little bit of oil can contaminate many gallons of water and affect millions of people. There are significant issues to remember when you handle used oil:
- It is not soluble and it may contain harmful chemical as well as heavy metals
- Its degradation is very slow
- It can pollute drinking water sources
- It sticks to everything
You must have read about oil spills and the problems they cause for marine life as well as for vessels such as ships and yachts. That alone tells you that used oil or even oil in general is a substance to be handled with care.
What to Do if You DIY Your Used Oil
If you prefer to change your oil at home and plan on reusing it:
- Do not spill any while collecting
- Put it in a container that does not leak
Many people retain their used oil to use as a lubricant. Others collect it and deliver it to a recycling facility.
There are oil recycling companies that you can take your used oil to for recycling. You can also enquire from waste collectors as well as government waste official and auto shops near you about what you can do with your used oil.
Pros of Reusing Used Oil
When you reuse your oil, you become part of the solution to the global environmental challenge. Recycling used oil as opposed to simply disposing of has many documented benefits. Uses for recycled oil include the following:
- Fuel oils
- New oil
- Raw materials for the petroleum field
- Mould oil that help in releasing products such as concrete products from moulds
- Industrial burner oil
- Bitumen-based products
- Re-refined base oil which is then used as a lubricant or transformer oil
If not disposed of properly, used oil can be a hazard for the environment. It is imperative to learn how to manage used oil properly. Waste management departments in your area can help you with information on how to properly dispose of your used oil. They can also show you when and where you can take it for recycling.
Reasons to Reuse and Recycle Used Oil
Many of the reasons have to do with keeping the environment clean and safe. These include:
- Ensuring that soil and water and free of pollution
- Reduction of the energy needed to produce re-refined base stock from crude oil
- Motor oil does not deteriorate but it gets impurities. Thus, recycling saves it.
How is used Motor Oil Collected?
Apart from your home, collectors have collection points such as waste transfer points, landfills and work depots. They pre-treat the used oil before recycling it. Alternatively, they may sell it to a company that specializes in recycling used oil.
Pre-treatment, also known as dewatering, involves getting rid of all excess water. The oil is poured into huge settling tanks and the oil and water separate.
It is tempting to simply pour the used oil down the drain once you are done with it. However, you must consider how sticky oil can be thus easily clogging your drain and causing problems with your plumbing. The best solution is to dispose of your used oil properly or filter it to reuse as a lubricant at home.