How to Recycle Oil and Why Your Small Business Should

How to Recycle Oil and Why Your Small Business Should

When considering the most important tools for your small business, oil might not immediately come to mind. But since it can be used in everything from vehicles to manufacturing equipment, there’s a pretty good chance your businesses uses a fair amount of oil.

If that’s the case, then there may come a time when you need to dispose of some of that oil. And when you do, recycling can be a great option for your business. Here are some of the benefits of recycling oil as well as some tips for doing so.

Access to Re-Refined Oil

In some cases, used oil can actually be re-refined and then used again. This is the case with some types of motor oil. This means that the oil doesn’t have to go through a rigorous break-down process and then used in the manufacturing of other items. It can simply be cleaned and used again.

So by recycling oil, you’re giving companies access to the raw materials needed to make even more oil. This can limit the dependency on new oil sources and over time even impact the price of purchasing oil. In some cases, recycled oil can also be used in other items, which can lead to other cost saving benefits for businesses that purchase those items. But re-refined oil is one of the biggest examples.

Cleaner Land and Water

When people dispose of oil improperly, like dumping it down storm drains or just throwing it away with the rest of the trash, it can lead to major contamination issues. In fact, the EPA states that the oil from just one oil change can contaminate up to one million gallons of water.

So if you dispose of oil improperly, all the heavy metals and toxic chemicals can have a major negative impact on your local soil and water supply. Recycling ensures that those dangerous materials stay away, thus making your community a safer and healthier place.

Improved Public Image

Recycling in general can have a positive impact on your business’s public image. Consumers prefer doing business with companies that have positive environmental and social practices. And employees prefer working for those companies as well.

Specifically in the case of oil, if your business contaminated water or soil through the improper disposal of oil, it could lead to a major PR disaster, especially since there are laws in place to discourage the improper disposal of used oil.

How to Recycle Oil

In the case of motor oil and filters, check with your local auto shop or supply store to see if they accept those materials. Jiffy Lube is one chain that recycles the oil it collects. And even if you change your own oil, some service centers will accept used oil from those who do their own oil changes.

You can also check to see if your local recycling center or curbside pickup service will accept filtered oil.

Mechanic Photo via Shutterstock

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Annie Pilon Annie Pilon is a Senior Staff Writer for Small Business Trends, covering entrepreneur profiles, interviews, feature stories, community news and in-depth, expert-based guides. When she’s not writing she can be found exploring all that her home state of Michigan has to offer.

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