Used Motor Oil

Used Oil is...

Any oil refined from crude oil or synthetic oil that as a result of its use, storage, or handling has become unsuitable for its original purpose, but which may be suitable for further use.

Used oil includes crankcase oil, compressor oil, cutting oils, synthetic oils, etc.

The Problem With Improper Disposal

Improper disposal of oil could contaminate soil, surface water, or drinking water. In North Carolina, over 20,000,000 gallons of oil are sold annually for light trucks and automobiles.

As of March 1, 1990, North Carolina banned the disposal of used oil in landfills.

Hazardous or Non-Hazardous?

Used motor oil itself is not regulated as a hazardous waste in North Carolina if it is recycled or burned for energy recovery. If used oil is not recycled, the generator must determine if it is a hazardous waste prior to disposal.

Used oil generators include those who service vehicles and collect used oil from do-it-yourselfers (DIYers).

To Help Prevent Pollution . . .

The Wrong Things to Do

Applicable Laws: (G.S. 130A-290(B) and 309.15-24; 15A NCAC 13A.0018)

- Collect, transport, store, recycle, use, or dispose of used oil in any manner that endangers the public health or welfare.

- Discharge used oil into sewers, drainage systems, septic tanks, surface waters, groundwaters, water courses, or marine waters.

- Dispose of used oil in any landfill in the State unless such disposal has been approved by the Solid Waste Section of the Division of Solid Waste Management.

- Mix used oil with solid waste that is to be disposed of in solid waste landfills.

- Mix used oil with hazardous substances that make the used oil unsuitable for recycling or beneficial use.

For More Information . . .

This Fact Sheet is only an overview and does not contain detailed information which may apply to your situation. You should call one of these numbers for assistance if you have additional questions.

Hazardous Waste Section, Raleigh, 919/508-8400

Office of Waste Reduction, Raleigh, 919/715-6500

For information on vendor services, by-pass filters, or available equipment for handling and collecting used oil, contact the North Carolina Office of Waste Reduction at 1-800-763-0136 or E-Mail OWR.

The North Carolina Office of Waste Reduction provides free, non-regulatory technical assistance and education on methods to eliminate, reduce, or recycle wastes before they become pollutants or require disposal.

OWR-95-29. November 1995.