Chart for Automotive Hazardous Waste

Back to Automotive Waste

Waste type

Hazard

Storage

How to avoid spills or releases

How to clean up spills

Recycling or disposal

Safer alternatives or reduction methods

Used motor oil

Oil picks up heavy metals from engine. Petroleum products are toxic to people, wildlife and plants.

Store in a sealed metal or plastic container. Do not mix with other substances

Put large drip pan under crankcase oil opening. Check regularly and repair if leaking

Clean up immediately with cat litter or absorbent pads.

Recyclable. Do not mix with other substances. Drain oil filter overnight into drip pan to remove oil residue. Do not use oil as dust suppressant or weed killer.

None, however, using re-refined oil saves energy and resources. Keeping your car tuned reduces oil use.

Lead-acid batteries

Lead is a toxic heavy metal. Battery acid is corrosive.

Store upright in a sturdy acid-resistant leak-proof container.

Store upright. Place leaking batteries in sturdy acid-resistant leak-proof container.

Neutralize small acid spills (under 2 gallons) using cement, lime or baking soda.

Recyclable. Return old battery to dealer when purchasing a replacement.

Purchasing longer life batteries will reduce the need for replacement and disposal.

Antifreeze

Contains ethylene glycol, which is toxic. Animals are attracted to its sweet taste.

Store in the original plastic containers.

Use large enough pan when flushing radiator. Repair radiator leaks.

Small spills may be wiped up and discarded in the garbage.

Recyclable on a limited basis. Use professional services that recycle antifreeze. Check with sewer district to see if you can flush small amounts into sewer system. Do not flush into septic tank.

Propylene glycol based antifreeze is less toxic; however, it is a contaminant in ethylene glycol recycling.

Gasoline

Flammable and toxic. Contains benzene, a cancer-causing chemical that can be inhaled and absorbed through the skin.

Store in approved containers away from living area, ignition sources and direct sunlight.

Don’t overfill your tank.

Clean up spills immediately with cat litter or absorbent pads.

Use it or save for hazardous waste collection program. Do not use as a solvent, paint thinner or weed killer.

Carpool, bus, plan trips, walk and bicycle. Keep tires properly inflated.

Transmission and brake fluid

Brake fluid is corrosive. Transmission fluid contains petroleum distillates and is ignitable.

Store separately in original containers.

Follow proper filling and draining techniques.

Clean up spills immediately with cat litter or absorbent pads.

Keep separate from used oil. Save for a hazardous waste collection program.

Reduce use by repairing leaks.

Degreasers and solvents

Many degreasers contain chlorinated solvents and are very hazardous.

Store in original containers in dry, cool location.

Follow instructions for proper use to avoid spills.

Absorb spills and take contaminated absorbent to a hazardous waste collection program.

Use up according to instructions or share with someone who will. Keep separate from used oil. Save for a HHW collection.

Non-toxic and non-flammable available. Use the least toxic product that will accomplish the job.

Cleaners and polishes

Most contain toxic ingredients. Some contain phosphates that promote the growth of algae in lakes and rivers.

Store in original containers.

Use appropriate amounts according to instructions on the container.

Absorb spills and take contaminated absorbent to a hazardous waste collection program. See label instructions.

Use up according to instructions or share with someone who will. Save for a hazardous waste collection program.

A variety of non-toxic cleansers are available. (Call DEQ, 405/702-5166) for a list of “recipes” for homemade cleansers.)

CFCs or Freon (air conditioner)

These gases are harmful to the Earth’s protective ozone layer.

N/A

Service your air conditioner regularly. Repair leaks. Run your air conditioner once a month to keep seals tight.

N/A

Freon is recyclable. Service at a station that collects and recycles Freon.

Buy a car without an air conditioner and open your windows.

Tires

Tire piles attract rodents, mosquitoes and other pests and are a fire hazard. Toxins are released into the air and water when tires burn.

Store outside in area protected from fire and rain. State regulations limit the number you can store without a facility permit.

Avoid storing a quantity that could become a fire hazard. Tire fires generate toxic smoke and runoff.

N/A

Tires can be recycled. Return the old ones to the dealer when you purchase new tires. Some worn tires can be re-treaded and will be as good as new!

Keep properly inflated. Buy long lasting and re-tread tires. Have your worn-out tires “custom” re-treaded.