EPA United States                   EPA/530-SW-89-039D
Environmental Protection   June 1989
Solid Waste And Emergency Response (OS-305)
Recycling Used Oil

For Service
Stations and
Used oil is a valuable resource, but it can also be an environmental problem and a financial liability.

Since your business deals with used oil all the time, you should know that . . .

  • The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency supports programs to increase proper recycling of used oil.

  • You can provide a useful, and sometimes profitable, public service by accepting used oil for recycling from "do-it-yourselfers" who change their own oil.

  • Remember:

    Maintain your collection tanks regularly. Stay in compliance with local fire and safety regulations. Avoid leaks and spills.

    Never mix used oil with any other material. Keep gasoline, solvents, degreasers, paints, etc. from making your used oil a hazardous waste and increasing your collection costs.

    A Few Suggestions:

    1. Do not dump or dispose of used oil in the trash, in sewers, or on the ground.
    2. Check your hauler's qualifications to make sure the hauler takes your oil to a reputable recycling operation.
    3. Measure the level of oil in your tank before and after your hauler collects it to be certain the oil collected matches the amount the hauler reports collecting.
    4. If you accept used oil from consumers, make sure all your employees know about it. Encourage employees to talk to consumers to be sure the oil has not been mixed with any other substances.
    5. Make sure your tank has a lockable fill so that you can prevent dumping of materials into the tank when it is not supervised.
    6. Provide soak-up material (for example saw dust, kitty litter, or a commercial product) for minor spills. It keeps the area clean and helps prevent personal injury.
    7. Make sure your collection and storage setup is leakproof, spillproof and that tanks have lids or are covered to prevent water from entering.

    carFor more information:
    Contact EPA's RCRA/Superfund HOTLINE
    1 (800) 424-9346

    The more waste we generate, the more we have to treat, store, and dispose of. So recycling makes more sense today than ever.

    Improper waste management costs money--your money! You pay in higher consumer prices, taxes for environmental cleanups, and increased health care costs, when wastes are improperly managed.

    Recycling saves money and protects the environment. So help be part of the solution, not part of the problem. Recycle used oil and other household materials, such as newspaper, glass, metals, and plastic.

    If your community has an oil recycling program, join it. If it doesn't, start one. Write for EPA's manual entitled "How to Set Up a Local Program To Recycle Used Oil" at the address below or call EPA's RCRA/Superfund Hotline at 1-800-424-9346 (in Washington, DC, 382-3000).


    Environmental quality is everybody's business, and everybody can do a lot to help.

    U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
    Office of Solid Waste
    405 M Street, SW
    Washington, DC 20460