Used Motor Oil = Solid Waste?

November 30, 2012

Used motor oil will be considered as solid waste if the federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)'s gets their way.

This change in specification would devastate the used oil recycling system and cost both consumers and shop owners dearly. Under EPA's new proposal, off-specification used oil could no longer be recycled as fuel.

Since the current recycled fuel oil market depends on the use of both on and off-spec used oil, eliminating off-spec used oil would mean that the viable market for used oil feedstock would suddenly be reduced to re-refining only.

Repair shops not in the vicinity of a re-refiner would have to pay exorbitant fees to transport their used oil for licensed waste incineration. In addition, fast lubes would have to either test DIY used oil to determine specification or automatically manage it as off-spec, which means both increased cost and no burning in space heaters. If, that is, space heaters are allowed at all.

Using a commercial incinerator and testing DIY used oil brings added costs small business owners simply cannot afford. And the larger shops (e.g. dealerships) will simply pass on the costs to the consumer.

- American Oil Change Association