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Old 06-22-2019, 02:48 PM   #1
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Used Oil

I've run into an interesting problem. For decades, I've saved my used motor oil in 55 gallon drums. Used to be, if you had 200 gallons, the distributors would actually come, drain the barrels and pay you. Not a lot, but enough. Then about ten years ago, they stopped paying, but would still come and pump the barrels....for free.

I began calling around a week or so ago, and holy buckets...I'm being quoted upwards of 700 bucks to come and pump the barrels. I've even offered to deliver the barrels, but no luck.

Its funny that if you have 5 gallons or less, lots of places will take it, but not if you have it by the barrel.

So, any thoughts about who might want a bunch of oil? I put an add on Craigs List to see if any of the guys with oil burning heaters wanted it....but no luck so far. I'm certainly not interested in dumping it all in to 5 gallon jugs and stopping at O'Reiley's every day on the way home from work.

Hell...I'm a democrat in a liberal state and you'd think all the government folks would be waiting in line to hug me for being in favor of and practicing conservation....but nah...
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Old 06-22-2019, 04:02 PM   #2
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I've run into an interesting problem. For decades, I've saved my used motor oil in 55 gallon drums. Used to be, if you had 200 gallons, the distributors would actually come, drain the barrels and pay you. Not a lot, but enough. Then about ten years ago, they stopped paying, but would still come and pump the barrels....for free.



I began calling around a week or so ago, and holy buckets...I'm being quoted upwards of 700 bucks to come and pump the barrels. I've even offered to deliver the barrels, but no luck.



Its funny that if you have 5 gallons or less, lots of places will take it, but not if you have it by the barrel.



So, any thoughts about who might want a bunch of oil? I put an add on Craigs List to see if any of the guys with oil burning heaters wanted it....but no luck so far. I'm certainly not interested in dumping it all in to 5 gallon jugs and stopping at O'Reiley's every day on the way home from work.



Hell...I'm a democrat in a liberal state and you'd think all the government folks would be waiting in line to hug me for being in favor of and practicing conservation....but nah...
There must not be a market for re-refined oil these days.
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Old 06-22-2019, 04:07 PM   #3
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My experience has been more on the commercial side. Waste oil is now considered hazardous waste that might have unknown chemicals in it. As a result when I had to get rid of a 55 gallon drum of waste oil it has to be analyse for its contents and processed depending on what was found. I'm now of the belief to get rid of stuff as soon as possible before someone finds a way to tax it. Remember when you could toss an old computer mouse in the trash? Now there is a charge to get rid of it.
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Old 06-22-2019, 04:39 PM   #4
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It's a shame, some places like where I used to work heated their workshops with used oil.


See if there is any used oil heating system dealers in your area and might provide a customer's name or two.
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Old 06-22-2019, 04:41 PM   #5
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Build a waste oil furnace for your garage or shop or whatevs.
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Old 06-22-2019, 04:45 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by ctjstr View Post
I've run into an interesting problem. For decades, I've saved my used motor oil in 55 gallon drums. Used to be, if you had 200 gallons, the distributors would actually come, drain the barrels and pay you. Not a lot, but enough. Then about ten years ago, they stopped paying, but would still come and pump the barrels....for free.

I began calling around a week or so ago, and holy buckets...I'm being quoted upwards of 700 bucks to come and pump the barrels. I've even offered to deliver the barrels, but no luck.

Its funny that if you have 5 gallons or less, lots of places will take it, but not if you have it by the barrel.

So, any thoughts about who might want a bunch of oil? I put an add on Craigs List to see if any of the guys with oil burning heaters wanted it....but no luck so far. I'm certainly not interested in dumping it all in to 5 gallon jugs and stopping at O'Reiley's every day on the way home from work.

Hell...I'm a democrat in a liberal state and you'd think all the government folks would be waiting in line to hug me for being in favor of and practicing conservation....but nah...
I was going to equate, “democrat in a liberal state” to the problem you’re having, but I won’t go there!

NWSeadog has it right. Disposal facilities assume your drum is full of unknown hazardous waste other than used engine oil. Therefore, it needs extensive analysis and a report from a certified analytical laboratory. Hence the high cost. Dispose of your used oil slowly to avoid charges.

I’m in the business of cleaning up hazmat spills caused by the trucking and transportation industry. So don’t make fun of my livelihood !

Just the other day, the news on TV reported the La Brea Tar Pits in Los Angeles, that have been an active oil seep for thousands of years, was acting up. Seems that oil and asphalt is seeping up in an adjacent parking lot across the street from the tar pits. Los Angeles County Department of Health tells us to “move along”, the petroleum oil and natural asphalt is harmless.

The same health department orders our clients to remediate the same material to very difficult-to-achieve standards!

Follow the dollars...
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Old 06-22-2019, 04:53 PM   #7
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One of the boat repair shops loves to get it since they have a oil heater for the winters. He said they go through about 30 to 40 drums a winter. We have about 13 gallons per oil change for the boat plus tractor, snow blower and misc things. So it is really great to have a disposal place other than Checker Auto Parts.
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Old 06-22-2019, 06:50 PM   #8
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Many larger farmers use waste oil heaters. Try a farm publication like The Capitol Press. Or Craig's List in Eastern Washington. Buy a waste oil heater.
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Old 06-22-2019, 07:03 PM   #9
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Doesn't your local county have a recycling location. They take used motor oil albeit not a lot of it for free. You might be able to work out a good time to take it there for a small fee.
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Old 06-22-2019, 07:17 PM   #10
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Aren’t there anymore re-refiners?

When I worked in a diesel electric powerhouse we had a refiner machine. A lot of heat and filtration. We retrieved about 70% of the oil. The freight cost to barge and then fly the last 100 miles was expensive. We received 55gal barrels on a DC-3.

In Seattle we’d buy re-refined oil about half the price of the cheapest new oil at Al’s Auto supply. This was the late 50’s.
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Old 06-22-2019, 07:52 PM   #11
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I think you need to look at this from a practical standpoint. A 55 gallon drum of oil is over 400 pounds. You're probably not moving it by yourself, and if you try and there is a spill, I think that's a death penalty offence in Washington state. It sound to me that waste oil consumers pay little or nothing for what is now a hazardous product. As such they're probably not going to want to go through much effort to move your drums.
So, reality is that you'll probably have to draw it off into 5 gallon pails and move it yourself, or pay. Make your choice and get on with it before the state puts a disposal tax on waste oil.

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Old 06-22-2019, 07:59 PM   #12
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I keep 3 5 gallon used oil cans so I can get it to the disposal fairly easy. I agree with Ted, get 3 or 4 5 gallon cans and take it to Checkers or whatever you have there.
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Old 06-22-2019, 10:26 PM   #13
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Oil Pirates. What we called oil recyclers thirty years ago. Call them back and ask about buying some waste motor oil. Hypocrites, oil pirates.

Oil has been in ground for eons and doesn't change THAT much, used oil is more like crude than unlike, still oil.

Distillation towers are fun. The height in the tower correlates to the specific gravity of the vaporized oil, given temperature, pressure. Different products are taken off at different heights.

The whole world of recycling is changing, not just oil. Needs to change a lot more, quickly.


Plastic is petroleum too. Bury it in a landfill??? Gotta be kidding me. Make a huge plastic (petroleum) island in the middle of the Pacific. Come on???
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Old 06-22-2019, 10:54 PM   #14
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I won’t buy motor oil anyplace that won’t take my used oil.

This has kind of snuck up on the OP. I think you are stuck with having to dispose of it in small portions. I’d find a place that sells oil and ill also take your used oil. Drop 5 gallons off at a time.
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Old 06-22-2019, 10:58 PM   #15
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Start calling your local auto repair shops. Almost every one of them in Washington burn waste oil for heat. Most of them could use an extra 55 gallon drum.
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Old 06-23-2019, 05:37 AM   #16
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Florida and Maryland where my homes are, both accept waste oil at the recycling centers. Think they both will give you grief over the 55 gallon drums from a handling standpoint and that you may be commercial. I like Lee county in FL. They accept anything they don't want in the landfill, assuming you will otherwise just throw it in your trash.

When I did the Great Loop, found many marinas where getting rid of used oil was a problem. Discovered that all Walmarts accept waste oil.

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Old 06-23-2019, 05:50 AM   #17
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When I did the loop, found any of the Marinas that stored boats in winter, were very happy to take my waste oil.
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Old 06-23-2019, 07:20 AM   #18
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Start calling your local auto repair shops. Almost every one of them in Washington burn waste oil for heat. Most of them could use an extra 55 gallon drum.
You should be able to find a shop that will take it.
My son has a big auto repair shop in Ct and had 2 custom 1200 gallon tanks built and installed in his facility for waste oil. He has burned nothing but waste oil for almost 20 years.
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Old 06-23-2019, 08:14 AM   #19
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I've never had a problem getting rid of used oil in small containers in BC and Alaska. Suggest abandoning your 55 g drum use and stick with small sizes. Most Jiffy Lubs will take it.
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Old 06-23-2019, 08:22 AM   #20
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I use those 2.5gal oil jugs to get rid of oil. Can carry two easily and they pour easily as well. If I need more jugs, I just buy some Rotella in 2.5gal. Local Advance Auto takes it no charge here in NC.

55gal drum of old oil is a PITA to deal with.
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