Friday, September 16, 2011 08:00
There’s a lot you can do with used motor oil, transmission fluid, brake fluid, gear oil, anti-freeze, gasoline and the other leftovers from do-it-yourself auto maintenance. What you DON’T want to do is pour any of this on the ground, in the gutter or sewer. If poured on the earth, all of it will eventually make its way into creeks, streams, lakes, rivers, oceans, and possibly our drinking water. And even the fish and animals that live there.
Most top-quality auto parts stores accept used motor oil and oil filters. Ask. If the store doesn’t take used oil, buy your new oil somewhere else. Sometimes these stores will take used transmission fluid, gear oil, brake fluid and other petroleum products. Sometimes not, too.
There’s nothing in the chemistry of automatic transmission fluid, transmission and rear-axle gear oil, and brake and power steering fluid that prevent it from being mixed with used engine oil. In fact, some state governments specifically say these are considered used or waste oil. However, some places that accept used oil, don’t accept these products.
Even though anti-freeze rapidly bio-degrades, it leaves behind toxic heavy metals. Many recycling centers, especially those run by local governments will accept anti-freeze. (And, I figure, if they don’t know my used oil contains used gear lube, everything’s copacetic. Besides, my other choice is the landfill and I don’t want to do that.) More...