Used Oil

Managing, Reusing, and Recycling Used Oil

Used oil is exactly what its name implies: any petroleum-based or synthetic oil that has been used.  Oil keeps our cars, lawnmowers, and many other machines running smoothly. However, during normal use, impurities such as dirt, metal scrapings, water, or chemicals, can get mixed in with the oil, so that in time, the oil no longer performs well.  Eventually, this used oil must be replaced with virgin or re-refined oil to do the job correctly.

Used oils such as engine lubrication oil, hydraulic fluids, and gear oils used in cars, bikes, or lawnmowers can pollute the environment if they are not recycled or disposed of properly. Used oil must be managed properly by local waste management authorities or automotive repair shops to prevent contaminating the environment. Used oil filters pose similar waste concerns. If properly drained, they can be safely recycled or disposed.

Some of the many reasons to reuse and recycle used oil include:

  • Recycling used oil keeps it from polluting soil and water.
  • Motor oil does not wear down - it just gets dirty - so recycling it saves a valuable resource.
  • Less energy is required to produce a gallon of re-fined base stock than a base stock from crude oil.
  • One gallon of used motor oil provides the same 2.5 quarts of lubricating oil as 42 gallons of crude oil.

Used oil in a liquid form Cannot be disposed of by any of the following methods:

  • Dumped down drains or sewers or into surface or groundwater,
  • Disposed of in landfills,
  • Burned in municipal solid waste incinerators or other incinerators without energy recovery, or
  • Used as dust control or weed control.

The Dearborn campus manages all Used Oil generated on the campus by collecting, properly containing , and eventually recycling the material.

Additional Information

Environmental Health and Safety

108 - Auxiliary Program Center
4901 Evergreen Road
Dearborn, MI 48128
View on Map
Phone: 313-583-6679
Fax: 313-493-9161