Collection and management of all waste types

What kind of waste we manage

Proper handling techniques do not end when oil has been put into service. Once the life of the oil has been exceeded, you must ensure the lubricant is captured and disposed of both safely and in an environmentally friendly way. To achieve this goal, it is essential to employ best practices for used oil management.

Waste Oil vs. Used Oil

Many people use the terms “waste oil” and “used oil” interchangeably. While both labels may identify the same fluid, from a regulatory standpoint there is a significant difference. Used oil is defined by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as follows:
“Used oil is any oil that has been refined from crude oil or any synthetic oil that has been used and as a result of such use is contaminated by physical or chemical impurities.”

Used Oil and Filters

Once this mixture was drained and placed into a container, it would be classified as “used oil.” While the end result of both of these processes was a mixture of oil and water, there is a significant difference in the requirements for each. Several plants have “used oil” being stored in drums, tanks and totes marked as “waste oil.”
In addition to the EPA’s used oil management standards, your business may be required to comply with federal and state hazardous waste regulations if your used oil becomes contaminated by mixing it with hazardous waste or waste oil.
Hazardous waste disposal is a lengthy, costly and strict regulatory process. The only way to be sure your used oil does not become contaminated with hazardous waste is to store it separately from all solvents and chemicals and not to mix it with anything.

Facts About Used Oil

Also, be sure to keep proper records. The EPA uses 12-digit identification (ID) numbers to track used oil. Transporters hauling used oil must have a valid EPA ID number, and generators, collection centers and aggregation points must use transporters with EPA ID numbers for shipping used oil offsite. Used oil transporters, processors, marketers and burners are required to keep records of each used oil shipment accepted for transport. These records for shipment must include:

  • the name and address of the generator, transporter or processor/re-refiner that provided the used oil for transport;

  • the EPA identification number (if applicable) of the generator, transporter or processor/re-refiner who provided the used oil for transport;

  • the quantity of used oil accepted; and

  • the date of acceptance.


These records are required to be kept for at least three years. It is recommended that you maintain these same records for the same period. As the ISO 55001 certification becomes more prevalent, this recordkeeping will be a positive step toward certification.