Convenience and other questions re: recycling?

Messages
263
Location
tx
I dump my old oil into the leftover containers for the new oil. If I dump it into say an old 7up 3L bottle even if I take the time to carefully rinse and dry it I think they get suspicious. [Smile] I've been to some places that have a big barrel you have to dump your old oil into. I think these places tend to be service places or have service bays in conjunction w/ parts sales like say PepBoys(?). Other places you just leave your old oil bottles with them and I presume they deal with dumping it into a container or whatever. That's probably the most convenient for me. One place (Advanced auto parts?) wanted me to sign a book stating there was no water mixed in. Now I would think water to be the least of a recyclers worries. It's silly - afterall how would they ever know who brought what in? There appears to be no distinction between motor oil, gear oil or transmission fluid. I presume all are recycled together mutually? (and I guess you could lump PS fluid in there since it's largely an ATF or ATF variant) === What are your experiences with different places for taking your old oil into? What do they produce from recycled oil? Is it against the law to burn old oil? (no I don't do this - just curious - it's not uncommon in rural areas) What about anti-freeze or brake fluid?
 
Messages
1,533
Location
Ephraim
Is it against the law to burn old oil? ---- As far as I know, NO. I like burning clean oil. I like burining towels and oil and brake cleaner, whooom. I like to see gallons and gallons of oil dumped on a barn-fire, WWwhhhooooommmm!!!
 
Messages
36,516
Location
ME
A lot of town garages up my way have waste-oil furnaces. They get it up to a high enough temp to properly combust the oil (not like dumping it on the fire). Bring the oil to the town dump, public works has nice warm facilities. Win-win. [Smile]
 
Messages
5,928
Location
Waterloo, ON
I live about 6 miles from a Safety-Kleen oil recycling plant. I take all of my used oil there in a 20 liter pail, as they won't take anything more than 20 liters at a time. I called and ask about what could be brought in, and was told they would take motor oil, brake fluid, ATF, gear oil, PS fluid, transmission fluid and this can be all mixed together. He said basically anything but ethylene glycol antifreeze could be mixed in. The city where I live collect used oil every week, but it must be in 4-liter jugs for some reason. I have started to buy GTX in 4 liter jugs instead of my old Petro-Canada Maximum in one liter bottles so that I don't have to drive to Safety-Kleen.
 
Messages
116
Location
Fleming Island, FL
quote:
Originally posted by pgtr: I've been to some places that have a big barrel you have to dump your old oil into. I think these places tend to be service places or have service bays in conjunction w/ parts sales like say PepBoys(?).
All of the places I recycle at are like this. I've also recycled my oil at the local garbage dump.
quote:
One place (Advanced auto parts?) wanted me to sign a book stating there was no water mixed in. Now I would think water to be the least of a recyclers worries. It's silly - afterall how would they ever know who brought what in?
Most of the places I recycle have you sign (sole exception is the local garbage dump). A few, like Advance Auto Parts) also request the brand you're dumping to be listed. I wonder if they use the information for marketing purposes, and to figure out what brands people would like that aren't carried there (my local AAP doesn't carry any synthetics, so I wonder how many eyebrows get raised when I dump Mobil 1 or Amsoil). This may be a local legal requirement. It may be to trace back to those who contaminate the oil, for whatever reason.
quote:
There appears to be no distinction between motor oil, gear oil or transmission fluid. I presume all are recycled together mutually? (and I guess you could lump PS fluid in there since it's largely an ATF or ATF variant)
I don't know about PS fluid, but the rest... Yes. There's not much difference between gear oil and motor oil, other than the scale being different for the two. An 80 weight gear oil is not the same weight as an 80 weight motor oil. ATF is, I understand, a very thin oil (hydraulic fluid, really) with a lot of detergent additives in it (how else do you get 30K drain intervals, and that with people who maintain thier trannies? Some go the life of the car).
quote:
What do they produce from recycled oil?
I've heard a lot of rumors. Penetrating oils, cutting oils (in machine shops), fuel oil - I know for a fact that the Great Smokey Mountain Railroad in North Carolina burns recycled oil in thier steam locomotive used in tourist passenger service, 'cause I saw the truck that came to fill up the old girl. I've also heard it's used as a fuel in some tug boats - I guess those diesels really WILL burn just about anything.
quote:
Is it against the law to burn old oil? (no I don't do this - just curious - it's not uncommon in rural areas)
Check with your local fire department. I'm sure this is a local thing. I wouldn't have a problem with a farmer burning a little oil, but in mid-town Manhatten...
quote:
What about anti-freeze or brake fluid?
I've had the hardest time recycling these. Brake fluid is essentially alcohol, unless you're using DOT 5 fluid, which most aren't. I could be wrong, but I don't see a problem with pouring it down the drain, and letting the sewage treatment plant deal with it. It's been hard to find a place that will accept anti-freeze for recycling, but some shops will take it. My local auto parts store suggested the Fire Department would take it. They wouldn't. [Frown] HTH, - Arved
 
Messages
5,928
Location
Waterloo, ON
I know that Safety-Kleen will take antifreeze for recycling. The guy there told me they send it to their plant in Buffalo NY to be re-claimed. I used to take my old oil to my local garage, they were happy to get it, as they were paid money by the firm who picked it up. This is no longer the case, and they don't want it now. Years ago they use to spray oil on gravel roads, but this to has stopped die to environmental concerns. I suspect that it was old crankcase oil
 

pgtr

Thread starter
Messages
263
Location
tx
Wow some great responses here... Bluestream, that's interesting that you live close to a plant and your city also does that. Arved, I halfway suspect requesting the oil brand or type may be a marketing ploy. Beyond the act of getting you to sign something as a deterrance to contaminants I don't see how they can get any further mileage out of it. It's not like they label each bottle according to who brought it in for later tracing. And if you dump it all in a big container - again it's unrealistic they could ever trace it. So the 'signature' thing is their 'deterrant' to bringing in junk instead of oil. But you could probably dump chocolate milk in and they'd never know. And I still wonder why the concern over water - I would think that to the easiest of contaminants to remove and the least of their worries. As far as writing down what brand and what not I'm tempted to write down nothing but synthetic GL-4 and see if some marketing dude gets the hind! [Smile] The lack of GL-4 lubricant selection is a pet peeve of mine. Exactly what I was talking about w/ burning oil. Out in rural areas I often see and personally know many folks that will burn leftover oil when they are burning a pile of brush or tree stumps or whatever. It may help w/ burning whatever it is they have or be a convenient way to dispose of oil out in rural areas. I just wondered if it was frowned upon. Once upon a time many folks in rural areas routinely burned thier trash. Nowadays that is generally frowned upon because of the variety of substances that find their way into the trash these days and the greater availability of trash pickup services than the 'old' days. I just was curious if the smoke or fumes from burned oil were considered hazardous or worse than from wood or limbs or leaves. Thanks Arved. Bluestream, years ago I grew up in a tiny town in the mountains and everything but main st was dirty. It got VERY dusty every summer (and muddy every spring). The owner of the town's one year round gas station, a Conoco, would take an old truck w/ a big tank on the back full of a years worth of oil changes, and spray the more popular roads. It made a dent in the dust. Interesting stories about the way recycled oils are used. Now that I think about it, I seem to vaguely recall there being recycled oil available in the stores about 20 years ago long before recycling became popularized like it is today. I don't see such claims on labels anymore and these oils have been replaced on the buttom rung by those cheap 30 wt oils that dont' claim any API certifications. Does anyone else remember any 'recycled' oils on the shelves years ago? Anyway, given a choice I think I'll stick to the parts stores that I don't have to dump into their barrles and can just leave the containers with them purely as a convenience to me. I guess I shouldn't be shy about using milk jugs or 3L beverage bottles either. But when I need to burn some brush I'm still not sure I'm going to dump any extra oil on it! [Smile] thanks,
 
Messages
656
Location
Massachusetts
A word of caution: Do not dump the used fluids, even anti-freeze down the drain. The waste water treament plants are not typically set up to handle chemicals. The antifreeze will actually kill the bateria that the plant relies on to treat sewage. Plus the antifreeze will be discharged to rivers or ground water where it could kill a lot of wildlife and potenially harm a lot of people.
 
Messages
4,651
Location
The Garden State
The service stations around me in North Jersey use to take the old oil. But since they now have to pay to get rid of it they won't take it anymore. But a county recyling center opened up and they take used oil, any kind it seems. You just have to dump the oil yourself into the tank. They even will take the then empty containers. Also antifreeze has it's own seperate holding tank. And yes pgtr I remember using recycled oil in the 2 gallon metal cans. I think it was Pennstate or something like that. It went into a VERY leaky 1961 6 cylinder Chevy. I "oiled" the dirt roads myself and saved the taxpayers money [Big Grin] . Whimsey
 
Messages
8,711
Location
Nothern USA
I pack my used oil in gallon detergent jugs and take it to Jiffy Lube. They have me dump it into the pan in the pit and take my jugs back. I think they used to make me sign a paper, but not recently. I tried Advance Auto once, but had to wait to be waited on, wait some more, and sign the paper. I think much of the used oil is burned in a controlled furnace. The federal law actually encourages that, or at least did 20 years ago when I was managing a small factory where I had to worry about disposing of our used oil and a thousand other details. Controlled burning of waste products with energy recovery makes a lot of sense. Of course that makes efficient paper, plastic, and laminates packages more appealing. That upsets the glass workers and those that think people should suffer for the environment. They also want to worship at the fiery, purifying furnace too, it really edges into idolatry. They don't seem to consider the environmental impact of hauling all the glass around and the gobs of natural gas the glass furnaces use. Temporally diverting a portion of our energy supply into lubricants and packaging, and then throwing everything together and carefully burning it is friendly both to people and the environment. Just burning stuff in a trash fire makes a lot of pollution. I wish there was a law that kept the neighbors up wind of me from burning their plastic.
 
Messages
119
Location
Long Beach, CA
I have one of those pan-in-a-pan plastic drain containers which hold some 2.5 - 3 gallons. Usually after each change (two on my truck just about fills it up) I take it to a local auto parts store and dump it there. Pep Boys makes you fill out a form with your name & address, and approximately how much you're dumping. I don't recall having to sign anything at AutoZone. I love that pan - no transferring the used oil to another container. When I needed to get rid of used gear oil or ATF, I just drained it into that same pan and dropped it off just like it was motor oil. Brake fluid and antifreeze, which I find myself needing to get rid of far less frequently, it only a bit more tricky around here. Los Angeles County frequently (more than once a month, I believe) holds "Toxic Waste Roundup" events at seemingly random locations around the county. I get my old crap into literally whatever old containers I have around (2-liter Coke bottles, etc.) and go to a waste roundup the next time they're nearby. Those are great. I don't even have to (in fact, according to their rules I can't) get out of my truck. Drive up, pull through, they take the stuff, and I'm gone.
 
Messages
43,676
Location
'Stralia
I spent most of my formative years in Canberra, where there is an oil collection facility at the dumps. You take the 20 litre drum in, and upend it on a rack over a trough. Pick up an empty drum, and go home 'till next time. I moved to Lithgow, and the council don't have such facilities. Their advice was put it back into the manufacturer's approved location, and throw it in the landfill (where they drive over it with a bulldozer, and release it into the environment. Similarly with antifreeze. What I usually do now, is offer it firstly to farmer friends who want to burn out blackberry patches, or give it to the local train society, who have an oil fired Garret that they are in the process of restoring. And their tank is half full at present.
 
Messages
1,357
Location
California, USA
There is virtually no re-refining of motor oil anymore. We consumers and the API are so picky today that virgin base oil is all that the blenders want. The market for cheap SA/SB oil is too small and virgin group I too cheap. Even group III is not good enough for many on this board. The vast majority of it is burned as fuel oil. All waste lubricating oils can be mixed, they burn about the same. I dump oil in the barrel at the auto parts store. They used to have a log book to fill out, not anymore. I think they asked for the brand trying to collect data on how much is sold vs how much is returned. Antifreeze is a real problem. There is too much conflicting information. The manufacturers claim that it breaks down in sewage treatment plants. If that is not true, how can they say that? Places like Pepboys refuse to take it. Is glycol/water mix legally classified as HW? Items like brake fluid are saved for those "hazardous waste roundup" events.
 
Messages
5,928
Location
Waterloo, ON
I will call Safety-kleen and ask what they do with the old oil. I think that they do sell some of the recycled stuff to Walmart (Canada) under the Tech 2000 brand name, but will find out for sure.
 
Messages
4,912
Location
Lakeville, MN
Actually in many areas dumping antifreeze down the drain is the method to get rid of it. Not any other automotive fluids - just antifreeze. Still is the suggested method by local authorities here. Now for the legal caution: Your area may vary. Only do if you are hooked to a CITY or other authorities system - NOT if you are on a septic system. Do NOT dump down a storm drain - that doesn't get treated before discharging somehere.
 
Messages
5,928
Location
Waterloo, ON
I talked to safety-Kleen today, and the tech 2000 oil at Walmart is made from re-refined base oil with new additives put in. The Walmart synthetic is new oil made by Petro-Canada. The used oil they collect is processed into industrial fuel and most of it is sent to the US to be used as a fuel in cement plants, and other industrial applications. Also, for asphalt. There are too many environmental regulations in Ontario to use this type of fuel here.
 

Patman

Staff member
Messages
22,012
Location
Guelph, Ontario
quote:
Originally posted by Bluestream: The Walmart synthetic is new oil made by Petro-Canada.
Interesting! I'm pretty sure I saw Tech 2000 0w30 synthetic in Walmart in Canada, so then this product would most likely be rebadged Petro Can Duron 0w30! And it's sold rather cheap too, under $20 CDN for a 4.4L jug if I recall correctly.
 
Messages
266
Location
NY
Here in NY(Buffalo), the law is 5 gallons a day per person, IF you produce a certain amount(cann't remember how much) of waste oil yourself(talking about oil chage shops, repair shops who do alot of oil changes,etc.). Now the shop CAN refuse ONLY if their storage for waste oil is full or near to full.
 
Messages
436
Location
PHX
quote:
I like burining towels and oil and brake cleaner, whooom. I like to see gallons and gallons of oil dumped on a barn-fire, WWwhhhooooommmm!!!
LOL, in the 2000 election they tried to blame GW for the poor air quality in Houston.... It was you all along!!!! [LOL!]
 
Messages
22,677
Location
Apple Valley, California
It's getting nearly impossible to recycle oil here in CA. I don't know if it's the state or the parts houses doing this but... They make you buy an oil drain/recycling thing instead of using an old 5 gallon pail/can. This drain/recycling thing only holds 6 qts and you can only return 6 qts a day...All my trucks hold 7 qts......What am I supposed to do with the extra qt? Bring it in on a different day? I'm only allowed to bring oil in once a day. What about guys with diesel pickups that hold even more oil? Plus the one they sell you leaks. I have been using the same 5 gallon old gas can for many years. I just waited till it was full and then brought it in. They won't take it anymore. What about the $.05 per qt recycling fee I pay? Ain't I supposed to get that back when I return the oil?
 
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