According to the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (“DNR”), an estimated 187,000 gallons of oil used in oil filters, and 1.6 million gallons of oil in oil absorbent materials are thrown away annually in Wisconsin. On January 1, 2011, a new law will go into effect banning the landfilling of used automotive oil filters and oil absorbent materials. The new ban aims to keep oil filters and oil absorbent materials out of Wisconsin landfills, and increase recycling of the oil and steel components in these products which can be extracted and reused.
The ban will cover everyone in the state including businesses, commercial and industrial operations, farmers, homeowners, and individuals. Specifically, the ban covers oil filters from motor vehicles including cars, trucks, buses, motorcycles, snowmobiles, forklifts, tractors, ATVs, and UTVs. The ban also covers all types of materials used to absorb or contain waste oil including granular kitty litter-type absorbents, oil-dry cloths, rags, wipes, paper toweling and absorbent pillows, pads, and socks.
The DNR indicates recycling options for oil filters and oil absorbent materials are available throughout Wisconsin. For example, many businesses that perform oil changes will accept used oil filters, some communities allow used oil and oil filters to be collected at their waste transfer stations or at specific collection sites and used oil filters may also be used as a fuel supplement in an approved municipal solid waste combustor. Oil absorbent materials can be recycled, taken to an approved biopile at a landfill or used as a fuel supplement in an approved municipal solid waste combustor.
To learn more about recycling options for oil filters and oil absorbent materials, see the Wisconsin Recycling Markets Directory, select the “Other Materials” category and select oil absorbents. For more information on the ban, visit the DNR website.