Adventures in Oil Recycling/Disposal

Joined
Feb 9, 2006
Messages
6,902
Location
Louisiana
This past weekend, the wife and the kids went to grandma's. As the cars didn't need oil changes and the grass had been cut earlier in the week, I decided it was the right time to dispose of my used motor oil. Being the lazy SOB that I am, I had pretty much saved the oil from every oil change since I moved into my current house in early 2005. At that time, I had my CR-V and was still driving my SAAB 900. The 900 got changes at 5-6k miles with synth as did the V. In November of that year, I lost the 900 to a wreck and got the 9-5. This was, of course, when I became completely paranoid about sludge and the intense bitog time turned me into a stasher. Long story short, 4 years later I had 34 gallons my shop with probably another couple of gallons in my garage that I forgot to get. In that time, I'd also lost probably a gallon on the ground due to storage in incorrect containers that had dissolved and allowed leaks. 20 gallons, though, was stored in a steel barrel. For transport, I used 5 and 6 gallon gas containers. First, I emptied the leaky or questionable containers into one of the gas cans. I then topped it off and filled three more cans with oil from the barrel. Then I loaded them and the rest of the containers I was using (mostly gallon orange juice jugs) into the grabage bag-lined cargo bay of my CR-V. First, I tried to call the local recycling and household hazardous waste disposal center. Well, seems that since the city started a recycling program, they can only been seen by appointment only. So, I figured I'd have to do this the old fashioned way, and go to gas stations and/or auto parts stores. First stop, Advance Auto. I asked the manager how much oil she was willing to accept. At first, she balked when I told her I had 34 gallons. Then she asked what sort of containers I had. When I explained, she was willing to take it all. She even gave me a cart to load it up on. Well, I brought it all in and commenced to pouring. After four gallons, the storage tank started overflowing. There was no gauge on top to indicate how full the tank was. Many apologies and paper towels later, I left with 30 gallons of oil. From there, I went across the street to Autozone. The manager there said they had a 5 gallon a day limit per customer. So, 5 more gallons down. Next...Wal-Mart. Although seemingly agitated about the whole deal, the tire and lube express manager unlocked the storage tank and told me I could dump it all in. After I finished, he apologized for his tone and said it was because one of his techs screwed up a wheel while doing a tire change and now he (the manager) was going to have to pay for it. Anywho, storing good motor oil is bad enough. I can't believe I let myself collect 34 gallons of used oil. I scrubbed out the steel barrel and put it in the recycling bin. I don't want to be tempted to store again.
 

ctc

Joined
Nov 5, 2008
Messages
488
Location
VA
I always go to our county landfill where they have free oil and anitfreeze recycling no limit. The only problem with them is they're closed on Sundays. I only go like once a year and I forget every dang time and try to go on Sundays for some reason.
 

BrianWC

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Feb 9, 2006
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Louisiana
BTW, I found that the orange juice jugs were great for long term storage. I was not those that leaked, it was gallon milk jugs.
 
Joined
Oct 29, 2008
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Location
Dallas, Texas
The Walmart I visit is a real PITA to give used oil to. You have to sign a book, and they will only take 5 quarts. The Auto Zone near me is better about it. I have gone in with 12 quarts and they dont care. Supposedly they can sell it back to oil companies and they make other stuff from it. Heating oil and whatnot. You would think more places would be open to making free money by taking used oil.
 
Joined
Oct 30, 2002
Messages
41,131
Location
Great Lakes
Since I store the used oil in an oil extractor, I have no choice but to dispose it before I can do another oil change. This effectively prevents me from accumulating more than a couple of gallons at a time. I usually just take it to AutoZone and dump it while I pick up fresh oil for the upcoming change.
 

BrianWC

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Joined
Feb 9, 2006
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Location
Louisiana
I'm just glad to be rid of it. I'm gonna have to dispose of those other couple of gallons now. I guess I just didn't want to admit that the stuff was completely useless. At one time, I'd thought about getting an older diesel and maybe dumping a quart a fillup into it. Recylcing was much cheaper, though.
 
Joined
Oct 5, 2005
Messages
5,034
Location
Kansas
 Originally Posted By: BrianWC
BTW, I found that the orange juice jugs were great for long term storage. I was not those that leaked, it was gallon milk jugs.
When I was living in Texas several years ago, I had a gallon jug in the garage that had oil in it for maybe 2 months. My driveway coming out of the garage was slanted away from the garage and when I came home from work one day, there was a trail of oil a couple yards long. You guessed it, the jug had leaked. After that, I never put old oil in a milk jug. I always took my used oil back to the part store that I purchased it from and while I was dumping the old oil in the tank, I asked the guy what they did with it. I had envisioned a recycling program where it is reused or made into a fantastic new product. The guy just told me "The state of Texas takes old oil, mixes it with kerosene and burns it". I still do it, but my enthusiasm for recycling kind of dropped after that.
 
Joined
Apr 7, 2008
Messages
1,504
Location
Vermont
 Originally Posted By: SuperDave456
Supposedly they can sell it back to oil companies and they make other stuff from it. Heating oil and whatnot. You would think more places would be open to making free money by taking used oil.
The problem is that they get everything from brake fluid (who hasn't dumped old brake fluid into the used oil?) to pig snot mixed into the oil because there is no way to regulate what people pour into those bins. If they knew that they were getting 100% used oil then they would probably pay you for it. There is no free money.
 
Joined
Dec 8, 2006
Messages
3,058
Location
Columbus, Ohio
 Quote:
The problem is that they get everything from brake fluid (who hasn't dumped old brake fluid into the used oil?) to pig snot mixed into the oil because there is no way to regulate what people pour into those bins.
My county recycling office TOLD me to mix brake fluid with old motor oil. John
 
Joined
Jan 25, 2008
Messages
4,452
Location
Guilford, CT
A crooked shop that used to be in my town charged a disposal fee for used oil, even if it was just a customer getting an oil change at that shop. All they would do was dump it into the used oil heater they had. They got free heating oil, didn't have to pay anything to dispose of used oil, and instead actually made more money from it! I keep a few empty 5-qt oil jugs to collect used oil. When 2 out of 3 get filled, I take them to the transfer station in town and dump them out for free, and re-use the containers. I also mix just about everything with used oil: trans fluid, gear oil, PS fluid, brake fluid, everything except antifreeze. (they have a separate tank for that)
 
Joined
May 25, 2005
Messages
4,009
Location
Calgary Canada
I have a 55 gallon drum that I can fill every 5 years or so with used oil. This is all on the assumption that my local landfill accepts bulk oil. Last time I loaded it up and took it to the landfill, they wouldn't permit this. Only oil in gallon containers or smaller. And now they can by recycled at any fire station. I ended up having to buy a rotary barrel pump and I am filling gallon jugs and wiper fluid jugs and taking them to the fire station every few weeks or so. The 55 gallon drum is almost empty and since it's a blue plastic drum, I'll end up cutting it up with a chain saw and metering it into my household trash for collection. Instead of 1 trip every 5 years to recycle the oil, I'll end up doing it around 3-4 times a year. Oh well, getting that 55 gallon drum up into my truck was a bit of a chore. I was actually going to weld up a cradle for it so I could use my engine hoist to get in in. Not a problem any more.
 
Joined
Feb 26, 2009
Messages
62
Location
Topeka, KS
The Walmart I take my oil to is a PITA...They will take 3 gallons at a time, but the person there never knows what to do. They have a book that you are supposed to sign, but no one ever knows where it is located..then there is always a long line. I have started just taking it there and leaving it by the bay doors during times when the auto center is not open. It may not be the correct way to do it but it is A LOT easier and faster overall.
 
Joined
Jun 18, 2009
Messages
169
Location
Chicago
When I change my oil, I usually dump it in the 5 quart container the new oil came from. Then I go to my local Pepboys store and drop off the container right by the service center garage door and run like [censored]!
 
Joined
Jun 1, 2009
Messages
34
Location
FL
every other oil change i take it to the local garbage dump. 2 gallon limit. I store it in the black drain pan i have
 

BrianWC

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Joined
Feb 9, 2006
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6,902
Location
Louisiana
I'd thought of the drop off in front of the bay door technique as well. But I was worried it might be against some sort of hazmat (or even terrorism) law so I put that out of my mind.
 
Joined
May 4, 2003
Messages
6,614
Location
southeast US
I'm guilty about storing several gallons worth in my garage. In oil bottles, so no risk of leaking. Once I used used oil to impregnate wooden fence. Worked rather well. I mean permeate wood (to preempt jokes). Some people use used oil as fuel in diesel. Always wondered if that was safe.
 
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