Friday, March 2, 2018
Recycling is often overlooked because it is sometimes very inconvenient. Some material, like aluminum, is easy to recycle because there is so much of it in consumables (aluminum cans being the most obvious) and because with historical values from 35 to 75 cents per pound you get a significant return on your effort.
Other materials, like paper, are more difficult to recycle because many recycling facilities will require you to separate regular paper from glossy paper, treated paper and cardboard as well. Plus, because raw wood pulp is a renewable resource and in many instances cheaper to obtain than recycled fibers, recycled paper will only fetch 6, 7 or 8 cents per pound. By the time you have filled up your trunk with paper and burned a quarter tank of gas driving half way across town to the recycling facility you will barely have made back enough to buy a Sunday edition of the newspaper.
But one product you will get no money for at all is one you should absolutely make sure you recycle. Motor oil.
Approximately 60 percent of Americans change their own oil. Due to the lack of convenient collection facilities, many of these do-it-yourselfers simply dump the used motor oil into the environment. Over 200 million gallons of oil. Or the equivalent of 5 oil tankers the size of the Exxon Valdez spilling their entire load, is tossed in the garbage or poured down the sewer every year.
Please scroll down to find out why it is so important that every ounce of your used motor oil, as well as the filters, is either recycled or properly disposed of.
Thanks for reading,
Your Living Green editor
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One quart of motor oil can pollute 250,000 gallons of water.
One gallon of reprocessed oil can generate enough energy to meet the electricity needs of your home for half a day.
Over 500 million oil filters have to be disposed of each year.
Just one properly drained oil filter holds about 1/2 cup of motor oil. This is enough oil to pollute 31,250 gallons of water.
Out of a barrel of crude oil you can get 2.5 quarts of virgin motor oil, while it takes only a gallon of used motor oil to get the same amount of high quality motor oil.