What legalities should I be aware of when disposing or recycling my used oils? Is used oil characterized as hazardous waste?
One of the first things to determine is what your local and state laws require. The U.S. EPA has general regulations but the states have specific disposal requirements. Used oil is not considered a hazardous waste by the EPA and is not picked up as part of monthly hazardous waste pickups (however some exceptions apply, including vacuum pump oil, cutting oils and PCB-contaminated oil). However, the states of California, Massachusetts and Rhode Island do classify used oil as a hazardous waste and require specific handling for used oil.