Keeping Used Oil Alive: The Importance of Recycling Oil

One shop’s waste is another shop’s treasure, and that applies to the economic and environmental benefits of recycling used oil. The life of your oil doesn’t have to die once it’s time for a drain.

Why recycle oil?

Motor oil degrades slowly and counts as a major source of water contamination and pollution in the environment. Re-refining oil is a preferable method to purify used oil, reuse it as a base stock in new motor oil, and continue its utility in an unlimited loop. According to the EPA, re-refining used oil takes only one-third the energy of creating virgin lubricants from crude oil. In fact, it takes just one gallon of used oil, rather than 42 gallons of crude oil, to create nearly 3 quarts of new lubricant.

Who uses recycled oil?

Many shops and fleet managers use re-refined oil treated from their own used oil to benefit economically, because re-refined oil is just as effective as new oil. Used oil can also be recycled as material in the petroleum industry or burned as fuel for heat and power in industrial applications. Used oil filters can also be collected for their scrap metal.

How can I recycle oil?

  • Keep used oil in a labelled, leak-proof container and drain any used oil from the filter. 
  • Used oil can be brought to many auto shops and collection sites.
  • Check with state environmental agency for more information on best practices and recycling programs in your area.

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