Dear Ida B. Green,
Where can I recycle my used engine oil and antifreeze?
Recycling these toxic fluids is an important part of the oil change. Just one gallon of used oil can contaminate 1 million gallons of water, as well as soil and plants. Used oil poured down the drain can damage our water-treatment system and contaminate our drinking water. The contamination also is costly to fix. Used oil can be "re-refined" into usable oil again or it can be burned to make energy in boilers built to use recycled oil.
Some maintenance shops will recycle fluids for you. Be sure to ask if they actually recycle or reuse them, as some fluids are just collected and dumped into sealed landfills.
Oil and antifreeze also can be taken to the recycling center at Ohio Gulch or the Mountain Rides garage, 800 N. First St. in Ketchum. Be sure to store and transport these fluids in safe plastic bottles, such as one-gallon milk jugs, with caps.
When putting new oil in your engine, consider buying re-refined oil. There's no reported difference in quality between re-refined oil and virgin crude oil—but check to see that it has the American Petroleum Institute symbol. Buying re-refined oil, just as buying any used or recycled product, increases consumer demand for that product. That in turn decreases demand for natural resources and saves energy.
Keep It Green,
Ida —Elizabeth Jeffrey