How Small Businesses Can Handle Used OilHow Small Businesses Can Handle Used Oil

There are various kinds of businesses which frequently handle used oil. The businesses which manage used oil through industrial or commercial operations or from maintenance of equipments and vehicles are called Generators. These are the major segment in used oil industry. Some common generators include boat marinas, metal working industries, grocery stores, government motor pools, quick lube shops, service stations, and car repair shops. The generator status is not provided to the farmers who generate less than 25 gallons used oil in each month. There are aggregation points and collection centers which accept small proportions of used oil. They collect the oil and ship it elsewhere to recycle. Usually used oil is accepted from both the individuals and businesses. The companies which collect used oil from various sources and then transport it to the burners, processors, and re-refiners are called Transporters. Some common transfer facilities include parking areas and loading docks.

In addition to the abovementioned business types, there are burners and re-refiners. The burners typically burn used oils in order to recover energy in industrial furnaces, boilers, and in the hazardous-waste incinerators. The facilities which remove or blend impurities from the oil to reuse or recover energy are called re-refiners. If any business is responsible for generating used oil, then some efficient housekeeping practices should be followed. The practices are termed as “management standards”. These were devised by the EPA and are intended for the businesses which handle used oils. These good business practices ensure minimized disposal, maximized recycling, and safe used oil handling.

All oil handlers must follow the requirements which are mentioned below:

  • The tanks and containers utilized for storing used oils should be kept in good condition. You shouldn’t allow them to deteriorate, leak, or rust. Structural defects, if any, should be fixed immediately.
  • The tanks and containers should be labeled as “Used Oil”.
  • The used oils should never be kept in anything except leak-proof storage containers and tanks. The units which are permitted for storing regulated hazardous wastes can also be utilized. Used oil storage in surface impoundments, pits, and lagoons are strictly prohibited.

Dealing with the spills and oil leaks involve the following measures:

  • You must take necessary steps for the prevention of spills and leaks. The tanks, equipment containers, and machineries should be kept in proper working condition. You must also carefully transfer used oil.
  • If in case leaks or spills occur, you must try to stop the flow of oil at the source. If it can’t be stopped, then the oil must be put in another tank or holding container.
  • You should clean up or recycle the oil as it would have been utilized prior to it was spilled. You can discard it appropriately if it can’t be recycled. Follow management standards for handling cleanup materials like sorbent booms and rags. You must also treat spilled or leaked oil as used oil.
  • All the defective containers should be replaced, repaired, or removed immediately.

Therefore, oil handlers should employ effective spill response plans.

by Soumya Mitra
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