Many businesses in Tennessee, from quick lube shops to fleet maintenance facilities, handle and generate waste oil. When disposed of improperly, used oil can negatively impact the environment. To incentivize the proper disposal of waste oil, Tennessee developed the Used Oil Program.
As part of Tennessee’s Used Oil Program, local governments can apply for state grants to offset the costs associated with waste oil recycling. Cities, counties, and nonprofits can then apply for a waste oil grant. These grants give thousands of dollars off waste oil equipment, recycling infrastructure, and collections. Understanding Tennessee’s state-based waste oil incentives can help all organizations create and optimize waste oil management practices.
Tennessee’s Used Oil Program
The Used Oil Collection Act of 1993 set the foundation for the state’s used oil program. Its main aim was to reduce the amount of improperly disposed used oil by do-it-yourselfers by providing incentives to increase the number of collection facilities for used oil. The act created a used oil collection fund taken from a $.02 per quart tax on wholesale packaged oil sales. This money enables the state to establish and maintain collection centers. Today, Tennessee offers residents 1,100 collection sites, including local agencies and registered businesses.
The Used Oil Collection Act complements The Solid Waste Management Act of 1991 which stipulates that all counties must maintain one used oil collection center. Citizens must dispose of their DIY used oil in a way that complies with state and federal disposal guidelines – i.e., take it to a registered oil collection center.
Businesses interested in becoming part of the used oil program can register for status as a used oil collection center using the Used Oil Notification Forms.
Tennessee’s Used Oil Grant
The Used Oil Collection Act of 1993 also created a means to fund local collection centers, primarily through the Used Oil Grant. Unfortunately, the grant only applies to solid waste centers, cities, and counties at this time. Individual businesses are not eligible. However, agencies eligible to receive the used oil grant can use the funding to purchase and maintain oil containers, waste oil burning equipment, and containment structures including shelter covers. The grant is available intermittently and may award thousands of dollars for used oil projects. Application dates for grant funding for FY23 have been tentatively set for 1 April 2022. As this date is not established, it is always best to regularly access the Grants Management System (GMS) online portal for the most updated information.
In the past, eligible agencies used the funding to purchase collection tanks, storage tanks, oil burning heating and cooling systems, oil absorbents, and concrete pads. To date, the state has granted $679,500 in funding and helped multiple counties secure cost-effective and environmentally-friendly waste oil solutions.
Alternatives to Public Recycling
Businesses that must follow federal and state guidelines for waste disposal, but who don’t qualify for state oil incentives, may want to consider burning waste oil onsite for energy. Through technological advances, today’s waste oil heaters and boilers offer a clean and efficient way to reuse waste oil without paying for recycling or transference. Additionally, many professionally built systems exceed state and federal regulations.
Used oil heating and cooling solutions provide automotive centers, garages, and industrial organizations a way to save money on energy costs throughout the year and dispose of waste oil onsite. High-quality systems burn off hazardous waste without releasing it into the environment and offer users fairly simple maintenance routines. In addition to cost savings, these solutions maintain comfort levels as well as or better than conventional HVAC systems.So if Tennessee Used Oil Grant isn’t possible for your organization, consider burning your waste oil instead. Burning waste oil provides an environmentally friendly way to properly dispose of your waste oil that can also save your business money