As the weather gets warmer, the time begins again for vehicle repairs and maintenance. Motorcycles, cars, trucks, boats and lawnmowers are brought out of storage and dusted off; oil changes, antifreeze flush and fill, battery replacements, etc., are done quite often. So what to do with the used parts and fluids? I stopped by a local junkyard to find out what they typically do with these items and was informed that they accept all parts and fluids, some which they recycle and some they send out for recycling. They also accept used items for free. This is incredibly important, as many people who work on their own vehicles often have difficulties finding places to dispose of the old parts and not many people advertise recycling services. These materials then wind up in landfills and very few of these materials are biodegradable and often contain extremely hazardous materials. Motor oil and anti-freeze are the two main fluids found in all motors and these fluids, if they get into the ground or the water supply will do immense damage. However, there are many uses for these materials once they are recycled.
Motor oil can be recycled and re-used, either through refining or through a special process that allows companies to turn the old motor oil into heating oil. Anti-freeze, on the other hand, is much more difficult to find a place to recycle and re-use. The employee I spoke with stated that they have a re-fining process that removes the impurities and allows them to use the cleaned anti-freeze around the yard.
So remember, whether you work on your own vehicle or have someone work on your vehicles for you, all the old fluid and parts can be recycled in some way. It may take a bit of research to find a proper place to dispose of these items but in the long run, it is worth it. You may even be able to benefit, either by receiving a discount on other products and services or even replacement parts, depending on what is available in your area.