A Guide to Used Oil: The Benefits of Reusing and Recycling

In a time of increased environmental awareness and sustainable practices, the importance of recycling and responsible waste management cannot be overstated. Industrial recycling plays a crucial role in preserving our planet’s resources and minimizing the negative impact of waste on the environment. 

Among the various recyclable materials, used oil recycling stands out as a key process that not only reduces pollution but also offers valuable opportunities for reuse. Proper waste oil disposal, also called waste lubricant oil, is crucial in protecting the environment from potential hazards. This blog aims to shed light on best practices, and regulations, and provide a comprehensive guide to used oil recycling for industrial businesses.

Why Focus on Used Oil Recycling?

Waste Oil Bins

Used oil is a common waste product generated by a wide range of industries, including automotive, manufacturing, and machinery maintenance. It poses a significant threat to the environment if not properly managed. 

Heavy metals, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), and other poisonous and cancer-causing substances are frequently found in these oils. When improperly discarded, used oil can contaminate soil, waterways, and groundwater, causing severe damage to ecosystems and human health. 

For instance, burning waste oil can release air-polluting pollutants like sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxides, and particulates. Waste oil can also contaminate groundwater and surface water, which is a problem for industries that depend on clean water, such as agriculture and power generation, as well as the quality of water that is available for drinking and irrigation.

Concerns about the quantities of used oil involved are raised by the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) estimate that 200 million gallons of used oil are produced annually in the United States alone. By adopting effective used oil recycling practices, companies can mitigate these risks and contribute to a cleaner and more sustainable future.

Waste Oil Disposal & Collection: Regulations, Compliance, and Cost

To ensure effective used oil recycling, it is essential to adhere to relevant regulations imposed by local, regional, and national authorities. Here are a few key regulations commonly found in many jurisdictions:


Both the collection of used oil and its disposal are governed by stringent laws, which vary depending on the nation and region. These laws were put in place to ensure correct procedures, prevent harm to the environment, and safeguard public health. Fines and penalties may be imposed for disobeying them.

Under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA), the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), for example, controls the collection, transportation, and disposal of waste oil in the United States. Additionally, it specifies the conditions for appropriate labeling, storage, and disposal in authorized facilities.

Proper Licensing 

Obtaining the necessary permits and licenses to handle, transport, and recycle used oil is important before starting any recycling or disposal process. Comply with local regulatory agencies responsible for waste management.


Maintain detailed records of used oil collection, transportation, recycling, and disposal activities. This documentation is often required for compliance audits and demonstrates responsible management practices.

Recycling Standards 

Follow recognized recycling standards to ensure the quality and safety of the recycled oil. Verify that the recycling facilities you work with meet or exceed these standards.

Sales Price 

How much is waste oil worth if it is intended to be sold on the market?

Its price might vary based on a number of variables, but in general, because of its lesser quality and contaminants, it is usually less expensive than virgin oil. Prices per ton might vary from a few dollars to over $200. 

Disposal Cost

Some businesses could be able to sell their used oil, while others might have to pay disposal costs. So how much does it cost to dispose of waste oil? This may differ based on the kind of waste oil, the facility’s location, and the rules in existence. 

Since it is quite usual for fines or penalties to be implemented for improper disposal, many businesses elect to pay for the oil to be collected and transported to a specialist infrastructure for recycling or correct disposal. This is frequently mandated by law. 

In general, the cost of disposal can be substantial, particularly for large businesses that produce large amounts of waste oil.

A Guide to Used Oil Recycling

Used Oil Recycling


Set up a designated area for used oil collection. Encourage employees to bring their used oil to this area, ensuring proper containers and labels are provided. 

Educate employees about the importance of proper used oil handling and recycling procedures. Train them on spill response protocols and waste management practices to ensure compliance and safety.


Transfer the collected oil into appropriate storage tanks, totes, or containers. Ensure that storage areas are well-maintained, secure, and equipped with secondary containment systems. Keep them in a well-ventilated, spill-proof area to prevent leaks and spills. 

It is crucial to avoid mixing used oil with other substances like solvents, gasoline, or antifreeze. Mixing can render the oil unsuitable for recycling and increase the cost of treatment. It can also create hazardous chemicals and reactions that can lead to dangerous outcomes. 


Partner with licensed and experienced waste management companies for safe and compliant transportation of used oil to recycling facilities. Choose reputable carriers who follow industry best practices.

Recycling Process 

Used oil recycling typically involves stages such as filtration, separation, and purification. Advanced processes like vacuum distillation and re-refining are employed to remove impurities and produce high-quality base oil for reuse.

Reuse Applications 

The recycled oil can be used in a range of applications, such as fuel blending, lubricant manufacturing, or as an industrial burner fuel. Ensure compliance with regulations and seek expert advice for appropriate reuse options.

Regular Inspections and Maintenance

Regularly inspect storage tanks and containers for any signs of damage, leaks, or deterioration. Perform necessary maintenance promptly to prevent potential environmental hazards.

Used Oil Recycling & Transportation Services

Identifying if the waste you currently have is hazardous or non-hazardous should be one of your initial steps. With this, AllSource Environmental can be of great assistance. 

AllSource Environmental works only with the most reputable, skilled, and legitimate permitted trash disposal firms as well as interested partners for your advantageous reuse streams since we are dedicated to a healthier environment. For your records, we can also give you all the necessary certificates of disposal. We are proud of how well we have documented the waste streams we handle.

We also oversee thousands of shipments annually from all over the United States. We understand that every transportation job is unique and we ensure to make it a smooth transaction for your company. If you’re in need of non-hazardous transportation or used oil recycling services, please contact us to discuss your specific needs.