Are you one of the millions of car owners who would rather take the time to change their own oil rather than pay someone else too much money to do the same? If you are, then you’ve probably heard about used oil recycling. You understand the benefits to both the environment and the effort to preserve oil. Yet, have you considered used oil filter recycling? The appropriate disposal of oil filters is just as important as proper removal of the waste oil itself.
In the past, most of you probably tossed out the used oil filter. Recycling was not a consideration until recently. The fact that these filters were recyclable did not occur to many “do-it-yourself” oil changers. It was not until many states and localities decided to ban the disposal of oil filters in area landfills that a new approach was considered. The development of used oil filter recycling was spearheaded by regulations established by the EPA to regulate the ways in which oil filters could be discarded.
The goal of these oil filter recycling initiatives is to provide better protections against environmental hazards that have been caused by the leaking of used motor oil into the soil and water. If you do change your oil and filter at home, then you should be aware of the proper procedures.
The main point for used oil filter recycling has to do with steel. Most oil filters are made of steel. According to some reports, steel is the most widely recycling material in the United States. The steel that is taken from used oil filters and can be reconstituted as new steel products such as cans, construction material, vehicles, and appliance to name a few.
What are the steps involved in preparing a used oil filter for recycling?
First, the filter must be removed from the engine to go through a process called “hot-draining.” This takes place while the engine is still warm from use. You should hot-drain the filter when it is still near engine operating temperatures. (This is just above 60 degrees.) Remember to wear safety gloves and glasses when hot-draining.
Next, you should puncture the dome part of the filter using a sharp object like a screwdriver. Once a hole is made, you should turn the filter over on the opposite side so the oil can completely drain into an appropriate container. The filter should be allowed to drain for a minimum of twelve hours (or overnight) to make sure that all the oil.
When you have emptied the used oil filter, recycling is accomplished by taking the used oil and the filter to a designated waste management facility or recognized drop-off site. If you want to learn more about these sites, you can check with local service stations or get in touch with city and county level authorities.