Just exactly what is “used oil”?

drum storage 4Used oil is defined as any petroleum-based or synthetic oil that has been USED. When you use oil, impurities or contaminants such as dirt, metal scrapings, water or other chemicals can get mixed in with the oil. such impurities may make your oil less effective as a lubricant for example.

Some examples of used oil are engine oil, transmission fluid, refrigeration oil, compressor oils, metal working fluids and oils, laminating oils, electrical insulating oil, industrial process oils, etc. Waste oil is not used oil. Oil that has been spilled is not classified as used oil because it has not been used for its original purpose.

You should recycle your used oil by re-conditioning, re-refining or burning it for energy recovery. EPA has specific management standards that you should comply with if you handle used oil in your business. You should label all containers and tanks as “Used Oil”. Keep these containers in good condition. You are not permitted to store used oil in lagoons, pits or surface impoundment.

If your used oil is mixed with hazardous waste, you may have to dispose of the mixture as hazardous waste. So make sure you store your used oil away from other hazardous wastes.

Always check with your state agencies because they may have more stringent used oil regulations.


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