How to Recycle Your Used Motor Oil


| 9/24/2015 8:55:32 AM


Tags: recycling, hazardous waste, fossil fuels, automotive, Sommer Poquette, Michigan,

 

The very first thing my dad taught me when I got a new car was how to change my own oil. It’s a great skill to have, but his lesson skipped an important step: how to recycle used motor oil.

I’ll admit that, until recently, I had no idea that motor oil could be recycled. I also didn’t realize that motor oil never goes bad—it just gets dirty. That means used oil can be re-refined into base stock for lubricating oil, and it can be recycled over and over again.

What about you? Have you ever recycled your used motor oil after changing your car’s oil? What about asking the local mechanic what they do with the oil? Most people are too busy to even remember to change their car’s oil, let alone think about recycling the used oil. In fact, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates that over 200 million gallons of motor oil are improperly disposed of.

That can have a huge environmental impact. The used oil from just one oil change can contaminate 1 million gallons of fresh water—a full year’s supply for 50 people. If, like me, you change your oil every 3,000 miles (as recommended), you might have roughly three or four oil changes every year. That’s a lot of oil that could contaminate the earth if disposed of improperly.

The good news is, it’s easier to recycle your motor oil than you might think, and there are some amazing environmental benefits that you’ll want to consider the next time your “check oil” light turns on.




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