Used oil is a valuable resource.
Used oil can be re-refined as a lubricating oil, used as a clean fuel and reprocessed to create many petroleum based products. Recycling it saves this non-renewable resource for future use. Recycled, its great!
Improperly disposed of, its harmful.
America's worst oil spill isn't noted much in the news because it is spread all over the U.S. The EPA estimates that 200 million gallons of used oil are dumped on the ground, tossed in the trash (ending up in landfills) and poured down storm sewers and drains every year.
Just one gallon of used oil, the amount from a single small engine, has the potential to contaminate up to one million gallons of fresh water -- a year's supply for 50 people.
A single gallon will create an eight acre oil slick. It will poison fish and reduce the oxygen produced by aquatic plants. Its bad.
Improper disposal is illegal.
The 1993 Utah Legislature enacted the "Used Oil Management Act" mandating new standards for the collection, processing and recycling or reusing of used oil. The act corresponds with the standards promulgated by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
The Utah Division of Solid and Hazardous Waste developed and is responsible for implementing the standards for management of used oil, R315-15. Copies may be obtained from the division. It is illegal for anyone to place, discard or otherwise dispose of used oil in a landfill, in sewers, drainage systems, septic tanks, surface or ground waters, or on the ground.
A single violation of the used oil disposal law can result in a fine of up to $10,000.
Who is responsible for proper disposal?
Every Utahn is responsible to help keep our state free of improperly trashed oil. It is estimated that sixty percent of us change our own motor oil. If you don't, there is almost surely someone in your family or circle of friends who does. Please encourage everyone who handles used oil to locate the used oil collection center nearest you and use it.
If you would like more information about used oil collection for your school, organization, club or group, call or write the Utah County Division of Environmental Health at 801-851-7525.