The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has a set of “good housekeeping” requirements for used oil handlers.  These are detailed in Title 40 of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 279.

EPA’s regulatory definition of used oil is as follows:  “Used oil is any oil that has been refined from crude oil or any synthetic oil that has been used and as a result of such use is contaminate by physical or chemical impurities.”  To meet EPA’s definition, a substance must meet three criterion of origin, use, and contaminants.

Once used, oil can be collected, recycled, and used over and over again.  Nearly 400 million gallons of used oil are recycled each year.  Used oil becomes energy and asphalt.  Examples of energy include re-refined light and heavy diesel fuels, re-refined industrial fuels, recycled fuel oil (RFO), lubricants, and petroleum based oils.  By delivering a quality recycled product produced by used oil and other waste products, we are advancing energy independence.  Used oil generators can now turn what was once a problem into valuable products that reduce dependence on foreign oil, advancing US energy independence.

MBC collects, accepts, recycles, and reuses small quantities from small barrels to intermediate bulk containers.  Collected oil powers our innovative drum and IBC reconditioning facilities and becomes new diesel fuels, new Lube stocks and recycled fuel oil by companies with award winning technology and environmental processes, such as Tri-State Recycling and ORRCO, Oil Re-Refining Company.  I recently purchased a “Clean Burn” heater for my facility.  Pictures forthcoming!

It is important to understand your state regulations concerning the management of used oil, as they may be stricter than the EPA’s.  Contact your state or local environmental agency to determine your best course of action.  EPA uses a 12-digit identification system to track used oil.  Transporters hauling used oil much have a valid EPA ID number, and generators, collection centers, and congregation points must use transporters with EPA ID numbers for shipping used oil off site.  Records in the form of keeping a log or invoice or similar paper trail must be kept for a minimum of three years.  The RCRA Hotline has a list of requirements for boilers, burners, furnaces or incinerators.  You can reach them at 1.800.424.9346 or TDD 1.800.553.7672

To avoid costly cleanups, follow EPA’s guidelines on proper cleanup and management of cleanup materials.  Other practices include minimizing the amount of used oil you produce by filtering, separating, and reconditioning used oil to prolong its usable life.  Purchase re-refined used oil products that display the American Petroleum Institute (API) starburst instead of virgin oil products.  Lastly, always store used oil in leak-proof containers that are secure.  Do not mix used oil with anything and send used oil to a re-refiner whenever possible.

MBC: Working at Advancing Energy Independence
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