For the Herald
FAIRBORN – According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency, used motor oil is a major source of contamination of waterways and can result in pollution of drinking water sources.
Used oil from a single oil change can ruin a million gallons of fresh water. With so many pieces of equipment requiring motor oil, such as automobiles, boats, lawn mowers, weed whackers, mulchers and other motorized items, many people change their own oil. Knowing proper disposal of used motor oil can reduce contamination and protect our water sources.
While oil can be purchased at many places, often times fewer options exist for disposal. Citizens of Fairborn may dispose up to five gallons of used motor oil at the Fairborn City Garage, 300 N. Third Street. The garage is open at 7 a.m. until 4 p.m., however, citizens can drop oil off any time behind the garage and place it in the large yellow container marked “Waste Oil Collection.” Another option for disposal is to take used oil to Jamie’s Tire & Service at 31 S. Broad St. or to Auto Zone, located at 1855 South Maple Ave.
Since used motor oil is insoluble, it must be refined in order to be reused. The EPA website states that recycled motor oil can be re-refined into new oil, processed into fuel oils and used as raw materials for the petroleum industry. This includes used motor oil from cars and trucks, boats, motorcycles, farm equipment and lawnmowers.
Containers for recycling used oil must be clean and have a lid that can screw on tightly. The best option is to use empty motor oil containers to put the used oil. Never use containers that once held chemicals such as bleach, antifreeze, or other automobile fluids as these containers hold residues that contaminate the used oils and prohibit it from being recycled.
Dumping anything into the sewer drains is a violation of city ordinances and is never an acceptable alternative to disposing of used motor oil or other hazardous waste. These fluids will contaminate local streams and lakes and directly impact the wildlife in those areas, as well as local water systems. Improper waste management costs money in both environmental cleanups and increased health care costs.