One of the many jobs do-it-yourself enthusiasts undertake is the maintenance of lawn equipment. Regular oil changes help make this equipment last longer and changing the oil is not usually a difficult process. The difficulty can be that used motor oil and other fluids must be disposed of properly.
An oil drain pan can be purchased at most automotive and hardware stores inexpensively. Having a drain pan that can be used only for oils or other equipment fluids will make your job easier. Make sure to get an appropriate size pan, larger pans are not a bad idea but they need to fit into your working area. When you are draining the oil be sure that the pan is placed correctly to catch all the oil. You also want to place the pan where it will not tip over or get knocked into.
Oil filters should also be drained into a collection pan. Disposable filters can be wrapped in newspaper and placed in your regular trash collection for pick up. Keep some dry clean plastic containers available for transporting the oil for disposal. These containers should have secure screw on lids. Clean empty soda bottles or milk jugs can be used but should be marked accordingly. Simply saving the empty quart bottles from new oil will work very well. Again, if you plan on keeping the used oil for any time period be sure to mark the container as used oil.
You will also find that having a funnel designated for used oil will come in handy. Using the funnel to move the used oil from your collection pan to your disposal containers will help prevent spills. Spilled oils and most other fluids can be cleaned up with an absorbent or kitty litter.
Many auto repair shops and parts stores allow customers to drop off used motor oils at their facilities. Some may place limits on the number of quarts each customer may bring over a time period but you can check this in advance. Your county or city trash services may also have drop off facilities for used motor oil. Independent trash companies may also provide this service at little to no cost. Call them to obtain information on hours, costs and any limits to the amount of oil that you can dispose of.
Keeping used oil and other vehicle fluids out of landfills and storm drains is very important to the environment. Used motor oils can be recycled. The recycling process can help in reducing the amount of new crude oil needed. Once recycled a single gallon of used oil can become close to two and a half quarts of new clean oil.