Just one gallon of used motor oil can contaminate up to one million gallons of water. Now there is no reason to run that risk. Small farms in the unincorporated areas can stop oil from washing down storm drains into the ocean and protect their own farmland by taking advantage of a free recycling program for used motor oil and oil filters.
The service is being offered through June 21 by the County Department of Public Works. The free recycling is usually available only to residents in the unincorporated areas, but now all small farmers can take advantage of it.
Recycling used oil and oil filters can have a huge effect on the environment. A used oil filter can retain up to 11 ounces of oil even after draining for 24 hours. Two gallons of recycled oil can generate enough electricity to run the average household for almost 24 hours. Used oil is easily recycled and can be used indefinitely as re-refined oil with no loss of quality. The steel in used filters is often recycled into rebar for construction projects.
The collection process for the County’s program is easy. Farmers and small agricultural interests can call 1-800-449-7587 to schedule their free pickup or email firstname.lastname@example.org. No one needs to be home when the materials are collected, and seniors and disabled residents can ask for in-home assistance in gathering and packing up the recyclables for collection.
The program is funded by a grant from the California Department of Resources, Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle). The County can also help with questions about other recyclables. Call the County’s Recycling Hotline at 1-877-R-1-EARTH (1-887-713-2784) or visit WasteFreeSD.org.