Professional Carwashing & Detailing

Managing waste oil

October 11, 2010

According to the American Petroleum Institute, not recycling waste oil is significantly more dangerous than originally thought to be. A study by the institute has shown that just one gallon of used oil can contaminate as much as one million gallons of water.

For this reason, we stand proud in our efforts to recycle all waste oil. We service over one million vehicles a year, producing a minimum of five million gallons of waste motor oil from just our company alone.

Good to the last drop
Contrary to popular belief, recycling every last drop of waste motor oil is possible. Services are available to pick up used motor oil at your shop. Used motor oil vendors are highly trained experts and take every precaution to ensure proper steps are taken to avoid spillage or anything other than recycling of waste oil.

By taking the necessary steps to properly dispose of the oil, we’re setting the tone for future generations to come.

We all want to live in a clean and healthy environment. By starting magnificent trends such as recycling of waste oil now, future generations will follow in our footsteps. Designating your business as an official recycling center of the state allows anyone to easily recycle their used motor oil at any of your locations.

Reusing recycled motor oil
There are a few different ways to use recycled motor oil. One use is to re-refine it into a base stock for lubricating oil. This process is very similar to and can be compared to the refining of crude oil. The end result is high quality re-refined oil, just like a virgin oil product.

It has even been proven that re-refining used oil uses approximately 50 to 85 percent less energy than refining crude oil.

Another use of waste oil is to burn it for energy. American Petroleum Institute states that “large industrial boilers can efficiently burn the used oil with minimum pollution. As a result, some used oil is sent to power plants or cement kilns to be burned as fuel.”

On the smaller side of things, significantly smaller quantities of used oil are burned in specially designed heaters. This can provide space heating for small businesses.

Most service centers are fully equipped with waste oil tanks, generally stored outside in a gated and fenced off area. The only individuals with access to these tanks are the store employees as well as the recycling company drivers. These tanks are considered permanent.

By implimenting simple procedures such as these, you can make a positive impact for a better tomorrow.


Allen Braun is COO of EZ Lube, a chain of 78 fast lubes based in California. Before joining EZ Lube, Braun was an independent consultant to the quick lube industry. He spent five years with Speedy Lube & Tune and also owned and operated the first oil change center in North Dakota from 1984 to 1988.