Waste oil is one of several types of hazardous waste that have to be disposed of safely. Other examples include solvents, pesticides, asbestos, batteries and certain types of chemicals. They are classed as hazardous because they are harmful to humans or the environment. Oil is something we use every day in various types of machines. It allows our cars and lawnmowers to run smoothly. However, over time it becomes dirty and needs to be replaced. The old oil has to be disposed of safely for several reasons.
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Used motor oil contains toxic chemicals and heavy metals and is insoluble
It degrades very slowly
It can contaminate waterways and lead to polluted drinking water sources
It sticks to anything it touches, whether that’s sand on the beach or bird feathers
Used Motor Oil Can be Recycled
It is far better to recycle used motor oil than dispose of it and there are environmental benefits as well. It is possible to re-refine it and create new oil or process it into fuel oils or raw material for the petroleum industry. Other reasons for recycling include:
It stops it from polluting water and soil
It saves a valuable resource
A gallon of re-refined base stock requires less energy than base stock made from crude oil
2.5 litres of lubricating oil can be produced from one gallon of used motor oil, whereas it takes 42 gallons of crude oil to produce the same
Disposal of Household Waste Oil
Waste oil that was used for lubrication, such as oil from a vehicle, must be put into an undamaged container with a secure lid. This container should then be taken to a local household recycling site for safe disposal. It should not be put in your household waste or left out for recycling. It is possible for small amounts of waste cooking oil to be disposed of in your household waste. Although this should be checked with your local authority.
Any containers that have been used for carrying oil should also be disposed of safely. First turn the container upside down and ensure as much of the oil has been used as possible. If the container is recyclable get in touch with your local authority and check whether it can be left out for the recycling collection. However, not all areas offer the same facilities for this type of container. There may be a collection point at your local recycling centre or they may have to be disposed of with your general household waste.
For businesses the rules are pretty much the same, although they are legal obliged to dispose of waste oil correctly. The penalty for not following the rules is pretty severe.
Simon Hopes is a renowned author and social media enthusiast. There may be companies in your area, such as Oates Environmental, that offer the safe collection and disposal of household waste oil.
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