Oil companies, environmental groups say now's the time to promote proper oil disposal

Jan. 1, 2020
Changing a car's motor oil is an important part of maintaining engine protection and performance. However, Earth911.com states most people do not realize that what is done after the oil change is just as important. With National Car Care month and Ea
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Changing a car's motor oil is an important part of maintaining engine protection and performance. However, Earth911.com states most people do not realize that what is done after the oil change is just as important. With National Car Care month and Earth Week approaching in April, Castrol® and Earth 911 are making sure the potential environmental impact of automotive maintenance is top of mind for car owners nationwide.

According to Castrol, almost half of the oil changes done in the United States are performed by car owners who do it themselves. Although the majority of those people follow proper procedures, one oil change — improperly disposed and not recycled — can contaminate one million gallons of fresh water, which is a year's supply for 50 people. With some basic information at www.castrol.com/recycling, you can pick up more tips to share with your customers on how to properly dispose of used motor oil as well as locate area recycling centers should they work on their vehicles.

"Many times it is a lack of information that prevents people from acting responsibly," says Derrick Mains, VP of Energy Reclamation Initiatives with Earth911.com. "Earth911.com and Castrol hope to help inform the public about the issue of improperly disposing used motor oil and give those that change their own oil the resources to take the necessary steps toward safe recycling."

Used motor oil is insoluble, slow to degrade and can contain heavy metals. Used motor oil, if not disposed of properly or recycled, can be a source of contamination in waterways and can result in pollution of drinking-water sources.

"We all have a responsibility to help protect the environment," says Matt McHale, associate brand manager at Castrol. "Castrol is dedicated to helping the public find quick and simple ways to recycle used motor oil and lower the possibility of improper disposal."

According to Castrol, part of the teaching process is to clarify misconceptions regarding the issue. A common misconception is that oil recycling centers are difficult to find. However, there are more than 30,000 convenient recycling centers nationwide, and a majority of automotive shops and quick lube retailers will take used motor oil if it is in a proper container, like a sealable, approved oil drip pan or a motor oil bottle.

"EPA appreciates the efforts of entities like Earth911.com and Castrol who provide consumers with information about the importance and convenience of recycling used motor oil," says Matt Hale, director of EPA's Office of Solid Waste. "Recycling used motor oil conserves energy, reduces greenhouse gas emissions, and prevents the possible contamination of our nation's drinking water supplies."

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