How Do I Dispose of My Old Compressor Oil and Oil Filters?

January 14, 2020

One of the most common routine maintenance tasks is changing the oil and oil filters. This maintenance task helps keep your compressor running efficiently. You may wonder where to dispose of your old oil and oil filter once removed, or if you can just throw them in the trash. Disposing of your old oil and filters is not as simple as being thrown in the trash as oil is toxic and a pollutant.

Environmental and Planning Assessment (EPA) regulations require all oil and oil filters to be properly recycled or disposed of. Used oil can be recycled or refined intro lower grades of lubricating oils or fuels. Your used oil can also be taken to a local body shop or service station and they can recycle the oil for you. The EPA states used oil from just one oil change is enough to contaminate 1,000,000 gallons of water. For this reason, oil should not be disposed of in regular trash cans or dumped in the grass or on the side of the road.

Oil filters at the very least contains trace amounts of used oil, so should also be disposed of properly. There are three options when it comes to disposing used oil filters:

To hot-drain the filter, carefully remove the filter from your machine while it is warm (Ensure protective equipment such as safety glasses and gloves are worn to prevent being burned or injured), then puncture the end of the filter carefully and set upside down for a minimum of 12 hours to let the oil drain out into a pan or container. Once the filter is completely drained, recycle the empty can and the oil. You can also purchase a filter crusher that will crush your old oil filters, similar to drink cans, and they can then be recycled. Old oil filters can also be taken to a local body shop or recycling centre.

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