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September 28, 2009

Tips on Recycling Your Used Motor Oil


Do you change your car's motor oil? If so, you're considered a do-it-yourself (DIY) oil changer! According to the American Petroleum Institute, more than 50 percent of all motorists fall into this category. DIY oil changers generate approximately a quarter of all used motor oil that has the potential to be reused or recycled: that's about 150 million gallons of used motor oil each year!

When you change your own oil, you take responsibility for properly disposing of your used oil, too. Mobil Oil wants to help you with that: Just enter your postal zip code in their locator  to find the location of the oil recycling or disposal facility nearest you.


With business activities in some 200 countries and territories across six continents, ExxonMobil realizes the potential environmental impact of its operations and desires to maintain the highest standards for environmental stewardship. Because Exxon/Mobil believes protecting the environment is everyone's responsibility, the company has joined with Earth 911,  a nonprofit network that provides access to local environmental programs in the United States and parts of Canada, to make it easier for consumers to properly dispose of their used motor oil.

Oil is a valuable resource!
According to oil originates from fossil fuels and is valuable in both its original form and as a recyclable substance. Many consumers don't realize that oil can be reused and recycled through reconditioning, reprocessing, and re-refining. These recycling efforts help to:

    * Conserve natural resources
    * Protect the environment
    * Reuse an existing resource
    * Save energy
    * Save money

You might not know it, but used motor oil is already valuable energy resource! A large portion of the used motor oil collected is reprocessed into fuel that is burned in furnaces, turbines, power plants, and manufacturing facilities to provide heat and electricity. This can support the conservation of natural resources and help protect our environment. To put this into perspective, two gallons of used motor oil can generate enough electricity to:

    * Power the average home for one day
    * Cook 48 meals in a microwave oven
    * Blow-dry a person's hair at least 216 times
    * Vacuum a house for 15 months
    * Watch television for 7 1/2 days straight! (180 hours)


But even more important than that, it is extremely important to keep oil out of our waterways and drinking water supplies! Each year in the United States alone, millions of gallons of used motor oil are improperly discarded, which can result in the contamination of lakes, rivers, streams and groundwater supplies. In addition, used oil is insoluble, slow to degrade, and very sticky which poses a health threat to humans, plants, animals, and the environment.

Should oil get into the environment, it can quickly pollute large amounts of water. For instance, one gallon of motor oil can:

    * Create an oil slick on surface water up to eight acres in size
    * Contaminate one million gallons of freshwater. That is a year's supply of water for 50 people!
    * Render a four-acre area of soil unusable for planting for decades.
Recycling the motor oil from just one oil change can help protect one million gallons of drinking water!

For more information about Earth 911, go to or call 1-800 CLEANUP for quick access to information about recycling used motor oil and other environmental programs in your local area. Click here to locate the nearest oil recycling or disposal facility.

Oil slick photo by mantasmagorical at morguefile
Artistic oil change by jeffwilcox at flickr

Brandy_schaffels_s By Brandy Schaffels Editor

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