Waste Oil Disposal

Know the options

EPA
On-Site Recycling

Used oil is stored onsite and burned as heating fuel. It’s the most environmentally friendly alternative with the lowest environmental and business risks.

Unregulated Disposal

This happens when oil is dumped down a storm drain, into a stream or onto the ground. Obviously, this is by far the worst option and no one thinks this is a good idea.

Industrial Plant Fuel

In this case, used oil is removed from the site where it was generated by a hauler. It’s transported to a collection facility (use of energy, generation of emissions), processed (use of energy, generation of emissions) and then hauled (use of energy, generation of emissions) to an industrial burner where it’s reused as fuel. This option accounts for where 70% of used oil ends up.

Re-refining

With this option, used oil is removed from the generator site by a hauler (use of energy, generation of emissions), transported to a refinery, processed (use of energy, generation of emissions) by a refiner and resold as base stock (use of energy, generation of emissions).Up to 40% of the used oil that is not re-refinable still must be disposed of.

The best way to appreciate the value of reusing waste oil as a heating fuel is to understand what the alternatives are.

As you already know, every gallon of used oil not burned onsite requires alternative disposal. What you may not know is that each alternative comes with its own potential business and environmental costs. (Keep in mind, the business that generates the oil is liable for any problems that happen during transportation of that waste oil.)