Recycling Automotive Fluids
by Pat Goss
Nationwide, every one of our waterways is connected to storm drains. Now here’s a problem: if you don’t properly recycle used oil and products that come from your automobiles and your lawn equipment and so on, each gallon of used oil can pollute up to 250,000 gallons of ground water. That’s a serious problem.
Here in the repair shop we have to recycle everything. That includes engine oil, oil filters, antifreeze, tires, batteries, you name it. Now the way we do it is pretty simple. We collect the oil in containers then transfer that oil into a large storage tank, and ultimately it’s picked up by a certified recycler. Oil filters are crushed and batteries are handled by special recyclers as well as tires.
Now how do you go about doing this? Well, you have to collect the products in some secure manner so they don’t get spilled into the environment, then you need a place to take them. Those places can be many auto-parts stores, a lot of service stations and garages and so on but many counties and cities have recycling centers. How do you find out? Well you can get information on the Internet.
Where to go on the Internet? On the containers of most brands of oil you’ll find a website where you can put in your zip code and you’ll get a complete list of the recycling centers in your area.
But cars aren’t the only culprits here - boats and recreational vehicles need to be considered, too.
In Annapolis, Maryland at the Annapolis Maritime Museum, I’m aboard Captain Lewis’ classic deadrise workboat. Now this boat comes from a time when, well maybe the environment wasn’t as revered as should be today. Now if you do things around the water, one of the things that you have to be careful of is whenever you fill the fuel tanks on your boat.
This is a bottle that is used to trap gas or diesel that comes out the vent for the fuel tank. It has two suction cups, and it suctions to the side of the boat and the vent is right in the center of this opening. Any spillage goes into the bottle and is trapped.
Here are oil absorbers, mat type and sock type. These should be in the bilge. They absorb oil and gasoline but they do not absorb water. Helps keep from pumping oil and nasty stuff overboard into the water around the boat.
Also the products that are used to clean and maintain the boat - there is a program out by the EPA - it is designed for the environment, and you want to look for that insignia on the cleaning and maintenance products that you buy. It means that they are friendly to the environment.
If you have a question or comment, write to me.
The address is MotorWeek, Owings Mills, MD, 21117.