If you are among the many auto owners choosing to do your own preventative maintenance, you may find yourself with a growing collection of used oil or transmission fluid. Before you toss them in the trash, learn more about why you should consider dropping them off for recycling.
Energy Savings & Economic Benefits
Used engine oil is not worn out; it is just dirty. As a result, it can be cleaned and reused in various ways. For example, re-refined oil is often reused as fuel oil, or it can be used as raw material for the petrochemical and refining industries.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency provides insight into why you should recycle engine oil, including how much energy and natural resources are saved by the process. For example, it takes about 42 gallons of crude oil to produce 2.5 quarts of car oil. The same amount can be obtained by filtering, cleaning, and processing one gallon of used oil.
However, this can only happen if you take it to an authorized recycling drop off location. If you put it into the trash, dump it down the drain, or let it run into the ground, your used oil cannot be repurposed. Instead, it contaminates soil and groundwater supplies, leading to environmental damage.
Maintaining a Sustainable & Cleaner Future
The damage that happens when you improperly dispose of used oil goes far beyond your own backyard. Consider these consequences of not recycling:
- Oil can leech into groundwater aquifers, affecting nearby homes or the public water supply in your area.
- Oil contaminates wildlife habitats, causing illness and, potentially, death. This reduces the biodiversity necessary to support healthy ecosystems.
- Soil contamination from used oil and other engine fluids can spread to plants. This is especially concerning if you have a vegetable garden or other edible plants nearby.
Choosing to recycle engine oil eliminates the contamination that happens. In its place, you facilitate the production of various petrochemical products used in everyday life.
Reducing Reliance on Crude Oil
Motor oil is made by refining crude oil. This process requires removing oil supplies from the ground or under the seafloor. It is then refined into various products, including fuel and lubricating oils, gasoline, asphalt, and solvents.
All of this requires a tremendous amount of crude and other natural resources for refining processes. When you recycle, you eliminate the dependence on virgin crude oil.
Following the Law
There are requirements for the proper disposal or recycling of used engine fluids. You cannot simply toss used oil in the trash or down a drain. Doing so puts harmful chemicals into the soil and can contaminate local water supplies. Plus, it’s illegal. You can face hefty fines, and possibly even jail time, for improper disposal of used engine oil.
Recycling used oil has economic and environmental benefits. So, instead of throwing it out or storing it in a can in the garage, take it to a local recycling center. Autozone oil recycling makes it easy and convenient to recycle your used engine oil and other fluids.