By on June 20, 2019

Ignoring the personal pride associated with maintaining a vehicle yourself, disposing of motor oil is an annoying chore. While not terribly difficult, laziness sometimes gets the better of us. Why bother risking the wellbeing of your interior with dirty fluids when there’s a perfectly good storm drain nearby?

While I’ve never dumped my fluids illegally, I know the temptation. Ten coffee cans full of used motorcycle oil will do that to you and, for every receptacle filled and slid to the back of your garage, the urge to tip them grows ever stronger. But I eventually sacked up and took them to AutoZone for recycling, effectively ending my youthful act of torpid rebellion.

Unfortunately, AutoZone may have also had a problem with the competent disposal of used motor oil — and 5 million other environmentally hazardous waste items. Sounds like someone is about to “get in the zone” of a huge fine. 

On Tuesday, the California Attorney General’s Office issued an $11 million settlement against the auto parts retailer over claims that the company illegally disposed of hazardous waste — such as motor oil, fluids, and batteries — at landfills never intended for such materials.

This has been a long time coming. Investigations were conducted between 2013 and 2015 after some whistleblowing made the Alameda County District Attorney’s Office Environmental Protection Unit highly suspicious. AutoZone is now facing allegations of having illegally deposited vehicular waste within 45 California counties.

From the California Attorney General’s Office:

District Attorneys’ offices throughout California conducted 56 inspections of dumpster bins at 49 separate AutoZone facilities. These investigations found numerous instances of unlawful disposal of hazardous waste including batteries, aerosol cans, electronic devices, and hundreds of discarded bottles and other receptacles containing automotive fluids and other regulated hazardous waste. These investigative efforts revealed that AutoZone allowed its customers to deposit hazardous automotive fluids and other waste items into regular trash containers in AutoZone stores’ parking lots throughout California. AutoZone facilities in 45 counties in California were found by the prosecuting offices to have committed these environmental violations. It is estimated that AutoZone illegally disposed of over five million hazardous waste items in California.

AutoZone also violated laws protecting vulnerable confidential consumer information by unlawfully disposing of customer records without having rendered personal information unreadable.

Considering that this is a nation-wide chain, there is reason to believe locations outside of California may have engaged in similar behaviors. There’s also a strong possibility other retailers are also guilty of illegally dumping oil. California’s attorney general believes that’s all the more reason to set an example with this settlement.

“AutoZone violated California law by improperly disposing of millions of toxic and hazardous waste items. It endangered our environment and public health,” California Attorney General Xavier Becerra said in a statement. “AutoZone must now pay the price for breaking the law. The California Department of Justice is committed to investigating and holding accountable violators of our laws meant to protect California’s environment and communities.”

The settlement calls for $8.9 million in civil penalties, $1.35 million in supplemental environment projects and $750,000 for the reimbursement of investigative and enforcement costs. AutoZone does get a credit of $1 million against the penalties if it undertakes at least $2 million in environmental enhancement work not required by law. In addition, the settlement has provisions requiring the company to undergo a general compliance audit and a trash receptacle audit to ensure hazardous waste and confidential consumer information is properly disposed of at all facilities in the future. The results of these audits will be shared with the public.

 

[Image: Mahmoud Masad/Shutterstock]

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74 Comments on “AutoZone Enters $11 Million Settlement With California Over Improper Waste Disposal...”


  • avatar
    indi500fan

    I’d always heard the used oil had some value because they ran it thru a filtration system and it was used for fuel in container ships (100 rpm two strokes).

    • 0 avatar
      Scoutdude

      Yes Bunker Oil as it is called, is a commodity with value. It can also be recycled into other products instead of just burned as fuel.

      • 0 avatar
        DenverMike

        They charge for taking away the oil, and it’s not cheap. I’m sure Autozone can save billions of dollars annually by not sending used oil to the right place. And we’re not talking about the residual drops left in original containers.

        There’s usually a sign at the front door stating sorry their tank is full, just so you don’t ask. I’ll bet they get complaints and simply tell customers to put the containers in the trash and they’ll deal with the oil later.

      • 0 avatar
        macmcmacmac

        Bunker fuel oil is a residual heavy oil precipitating out at the lower end of the refinery fractionating tower. It is almost a solid and requires heating before it will flow. It is not engine oil.

    • 0 avatar
      brn

      We had a dealership that used the old oil to heat the building.

  • avatar
    Scoutdude

    So I see nothing about Autozone illegally dumping oil. I’m certain that if they accept oil for recycling and the customer actually brings it in they have a company that comes and picks this up.

    What I’m reading is that customers threw items in their trash cans that are not supposed to go to the land fill and they didn’t have employees sort through the trash for illegal items before putting it in the dumpster. The person topping off the oil on his old hooptie isn’t going to drain the oil bottle by waiting there for an hour for everything to drain out.

    So yeah the garbage cans in the parking lot are going to go away and the people will now leave their trash on the ground or stick it in the trash at the McDonald’s, Convenience store, or at home.

    • 0 avatar
      Lie2me

      It’s still Auto Zone’s responsibility to monitor their own trash bins. I know around here if you get caught disposing waste illegally you can get in big trouble. That’s why most businesses keep their dumpsters locked up. There really isn’t much info to go on here, but that’s what it sounds like

      • 0 avatar
        highdesertcat

        It depends on where you live. In NM the city dump accepts used oil and used anti-freeze, old batteries and just about any hazardous waste items.

        But California has some unique problems. Where people in the desert of 29 Palms do all sorts of disposing in the wild, they can’t do that in the populated areas.

        OTOH, seeing old clunkers in CA with blue and/or black smoke billowing from the tailpipes in the cities, polluting the air, not a peep about that.

        And maybe that’s because that’s all that the people living in the Barrios of CA can afford to drive.

      • 0 avatar
        SirRaoulDuke

        Legally it may be AutoZone’s responsibility, but’s call the BS what it is: the inspectors know Hooptie Driver doesn’t have $11 million to fork over to the government, but Big Corporation does, so the inspectors don’t bother to sit there for an afternoon and catch some real offenders. Real, broke offenders.

  • avatar
    sirwired

    I have a feeling that people bring all sorts of fluids into AutoZone (brake fluid, coolant, etc.) and they were letting people dispose of everything but motor oil in the trash.

    Certainly while most people know that you shouldn’t pour motor oil down the drain or on the ground, I have a feeling most people are not aware of the rules around other automotive fluids.

    I’m fortunate to live in a county with a 6-day-a-week HazMat drop-off… Electronics, household chemicals, oil, etc. The only thing they don’t take is smoke detectors. (Good lord, those are a PITA to take care of.)

  • avatar
    bullnuke

    Regardless of their waste disposal problems, AutoZone rose up a bit on my list of heroic retailers a couple weeks ago. My full fuel tank (240# or so of diesel) broke the 20-year old corroded rear tank strap and dropped about 5″ with only the 1/4″ of remaining actual steel of the similarly corroded front strap holding it off the ground. The local small town AutoZone, known for stocking pretty much only parts for the local ’80s-era hill-jack BHPH vehicles including fancy floormats and rearview hanging air freshners, actually had a new set of straps that FIT my ’99 F350 crewcab short bed IN STOCK! I was, at first, shocked but then very pleased. A couple two by fours, a floor jack, an impact 13mm, and a couple hours later all was good. Now I’m gonna go to the local Ford stealership’s “service” department and ask ’em how they did that recall for installation of a plastic fuel tank shield two years ago (which required removing the then-18 year old tank straps) without letting me know the hazardously deteriorated condition of them. AutoZone gets a 5-star for this one.

    • 0 avatar
      Lie2me

      It’s been my experience when needing an oddball part Auto Zone can at least get it for me quickly if they don’t have it in stock

      • 0 avatar
        highdesertcat

        When I was still tooling and wrenching on my cars, Autozone and I were on a first-name basis.

        There were several times when I would call ahead for a part, or whatever, and it would be waiting for me on the counter by the time I drove the 26 miles into town.

  • avatar
    IBx1

    Never in my mind has the thought come up to improperly dispose of used oil, but auto parts stores should come up with a way to accept flushed coolant. Waiting 6 months to forget the day the hazmat pickup happens for those 4-gal bottles is excruciating.

    • 0 avatar
      SPPPP

      Ah, you are so right. I guess “they used to” collect it for recycling, but it has fallen out of favor. I don’t know if it’s the variety of different types now used or what. But it’s very hard to get rid of used coolant.

  • avatar
    PandaBear

    Many auto parts stores do not accept used oil, and customers just dump them in the parking lot trash cans.

    But batteries? come on now, you can get the core charge or at least a $5 gift card at O’Reilley.

    • 0 avatar
      highdesertcat

      Not everywhere. Car batteries, UPS batteries, tractor batteries, lawnmower batteries, camera batteries, etc, aren’t worth a plugged nickel UNLESS there was a core-charge levied by the retailer.

      I tried to turn in an old 24F at Walmart I had been using as my jump-start battery and was told by both customer service and the service dept that they could not accept it unless I had a receipt to show I had bought a battery there.

      But Walmart was helpful and referred me to a local metal recycler in the area who was happy to accept my donation of Lead, for free. No $5 nothing.

      If it had been Aluminum, they would have given me the going rate per pound for it.

      It depends on where you live. I varies from State to State, and even City to City within a State.

  • avatar
    -Nate

    I agree in that it’s prolly mostly crap the customers leave in the parking lot trash cans, if they take those away god help us .

    You cannot seriously expect the minimum wage counter guys to sort the trash cans when they tip them into the Dempster Dumpster out back ~ anyone who’s ever had to touch a Dumpster much less sort what’s in it knows this .

    When I was a teenager one boss taught me to drain the ’empty’ oil cans, said I could keep all the free, fresh oil I saved ~ it took me less than a week to discover just how much oil is left in ’empty’ cans .

    Wow .

    If you live in a large metropolitan area they’ll have either waste fluid cans on your regular trash day or periodic waste collections days, I used to use those days and well remember then 5 gallon jugs of oil I’d collect…

    -Nate

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    My 8 gallons of oil per year goes right down the house drain, where it is incinerated at the sewage plant. It’s not a lot compared to the 80,000 gallons of water I also send down the pipe each year.

    I would never pour it into the ground, but I’ve gotten sick of risking my car interior to transport several gallons of dirty oil to the parts store, only to discover their tank is full.

    This is yet another benefit of driving an EV – no oil changes or other ICE maintenance.

    But don’t worry, the government will soon figure out that DIY work is unsafe for you and the environment, eventually forcing you to relinquish all DIY work to the dealer. Owning an oil filter wrench will be a sign to the enviro-cops that you may be engaging in illegal activity.

    • 0 avatar
      golden2husky

      No risk. I use a five gallon plastic paint can with a sealed lid that never opens. On the top of the sealed lid is a plastic cap. All oil goes in there, and the cap replaced. It pours out without contacting the container. My town has a recyling area that is open Tuesday through Saturday and they take oil, spray cans, chemicals, plus all the usual stuff.

      Odd you mention “enviro-cops” coming and saying DIY will be stopped by the government. I hope that never happens but your disposal behavior will be just the reason if it happens.

    • 0 avatar
      Fordson

      Oh, stop. Risking my car interior? You have a hatch or trunk, and you got containers from the store that are able to contain new oil without leaking, but you can’t use those same containers to transport used oil without them leaking – ?

      And the enviro-cops…please…are those the same people who are coming to take your guns? Any day now, right…?

      Most municipalities will accept used oil at the public works garage…I know mine does. I put my used oil into the 5-quart jugs I buy it in, make sure I screw the caps on tight, wipe off the outside, and drive it over there…mission accomplished.

    • 0 avatar
      RHD

      Sewage plants aren’t set up to separate used motor oil from water, and then burn it. You’re only fooling yourself.
      It’s very easy to put the oil in containers with lids, put those in a cardboard box, and transport it to the local toxic waste facility.

    • 0 avatar
      HotPotato

      What makes you think water is incinerated?

      • 0 avatar
        -Nate

        It isn’t and he damn well knows it ~ he’s just making up facts as he goes along .

        I worked in the biggest water treatment plant in Los Angeles and it’s interesting all the things they do, they actually produce bagged fertilizer from the final waste product .

        Almost all the hands on workers also have rings on every finger and dozens more at home…..

        We had an amazing vine growing indoors that was watered with effluent…

        -Nate

  • avatar

    The best and easiest solution to all environmental problems is to illegitimize ICE cars and switch 100% of population to own EVs. If Chinese can do that (and Europeans are not far behind) why we cannot?

    • 0 avatar
      ToddAtlasF1

      The second amendment is the reason for the season.

      • 0 avatar
        CaddyDaddy

        Inside the cage trying to look out…… You are blind to the Chinese. The Chinese have not changed over to Elec. Vehicles. They never will, it is just window dressing fodder for the outside world barfed out of the Party controlled media. Heck they can’t even get drinkable tap water in their Tier 1 cities.

    • 0 avatar

      If we can do it in California the rest of country will have no other option than follow.

      Regarding China I read on Internet that they are more advanced society, have more freedoms than Americans, live in high-rise apartments, have high speed rail all over the place, booming economy and taking over US and Western countries in science and technology and are world leaders in climate change.

      • 0 avatar
        RHD

        They don’t install P-traps under their sinks, and the sewer gas just comes right up.
        But they do manufacture P-traps, and export them all over.

        • 0 avatar
          Lie2me

          They don’t have any idea what half the stuff they make even is. I used to work in product development for a lighting and lamp company. For Christmas we asked our Chinese partners to develop a Santa Claus standing next to street light that would light up. What we got back from China was a street light with a skinny guy in a green suit.

          They had no idea what Santa Claus was. Live and learn

          • 0 avatar
            -Nate

            I’m not a product designer but I’m intelligent (or maybe just care enough) to know to google ‘santa claus in America’ before attempting to do this….

            -No excuse for what you received .

            -Nate

          • 0 avatar
            Lie2me

            This was about 25 years ago, before google was a thing and doing business with China was at the beginning. There was a huge learning curve on both sides

          • 0 avatar
            -Nate

            O.K., got it .

            -Nate

  • avatar

    I bring oil to my local indy mechanic. NY state requires that they accept oil, and they get PAID by the recycler for the oil. (just make sure there’s no gas in it !)…so, I’m dumping quarters into his tank-he’s happy, pays for his stuff, and I know I’m not dumping it in the Hudson.

    • 0 avatar
      Scoutdude

      Yeah when oil prices are high, if you aren’t in the middle of nowhere the companies will pay you for the waste oil. They’ll charge for the oil filters though.

  • avatar
    Scoutdude

    I just remembered a couple of good stories about waste motor oil and its disposal.

    When I was first starting driving many auto parts stores sold oil disposal kits. It was a card board box with a bag of finely shredded news paper. You opened the box folded the bag over the sides and drained your oil directly into the box. You then gathered up the bag, sealed it with a twist tie and then put it in the garbage.

    About that same time I used to buy car magazines and apparently they were still around the house, long after I’d moved out, and my much younger 1/2 brother found them. In a late 70’s Car Craft or maybe Hot Rod there was a DIY backyard oil disposal “tip”. You dug a hole so big, filled it up with gravel to a certain level, took a coffee can with the bottom cut off, placed it on the gravel and then put a layer of dirt over the gravel. The idea was that the top of the coffee can would stick up past the dirt an inch or so and you would snap the lid on it. Then when you had some oil to dump, just take off the lid and pour it on in. Your own personal background toxic dump! Well by the time my brother found those magazines we were well into the late 80’s. Seeing that article he was shocked and sent in a letter. Low and behold they actually published it. They basically said, yeah different times and today we certainly wouldn’t suggest such a thing.

    • 0 avatar
      sco

      Too funny. Standards certainly do change over time. But lets not forget that even though we consider ourselves very modern and high tech, we still take most of the garbage we create, haul it out into the countryside, and bury it. We just bury it, so its out of sight. And for the record, most of our energy also comes from something we modern high-tech humans dug out of the ground and burned.

      • 0 avatar
        johnnyz

        So what if we bury garbage? What, should we send it off into space?

        Garbage is nothing more than products of the Earth that we can throw back into the Earth by burying.

        Environmentalism is the biggest freaking fraud in the world!

        by no means do I advocate dumping oil into water wells or contaminating dirt. However there are places all over this country where oil seeps up out of the ground. Sulfur comes out of ocean vents and lead and Mercury are from guess what? Mother Earth.

    • 0 avatar
      Tele Vision

      As a kid growing up in the country I did a lot of oil changes. Trucks/cars/mowers/dirt bikes/outboard engines. All of the used oil went on the gravel driveway to keep the dust down.

    • 0 avatar
      johnnyz

      Remind me, where again does oil come from?

    • 0 avatar
      HotPotato

      Yep. You never know what’s under the sod. Years ago my sister was remodeling her first house in Vegas, adding a room. The crew started digging out the back yard for the additional foundation and unearthed huge white chunks of…god knows what, but it gave off stinging fumes that made everyone violently ill. It was an older tract, from the era when the Mob ran everything in that town, so it wouldn’t surprise me if wiseguys had been running an illegal toxic dump, and when it was full they shoveled some topsoil on it and built houses. Sis, being a full-on Nevada libertarian at the time, didn’t call the appropriate authorities for testing and proper disposal — she just moved the family out for a spell while the crew made the stuff go away by undisclosed means, probably in much the same manner it had gotten there.

      Her first kid has health issues. I might be paranoid, but…

      • 0 avatar
        -Nate

        “Remind me, where again does oil come from?”

        The _store_ of course…..

        (/SARC.)

        Speaking of building locations, I’m old so in my youth whenever an urban dump/public landfill was full they’d build a new public school on top of it….

        This continued into the 1980’s in California, right off the North Hollywood Freeway (170) they built a Department of Water & Power central facility on the old dump and the fumes made every one sick so they tore it down after two or three years, now there’s another public school on the same site….

        -Nate

  • avatar
    CapVandal

    Auto Zone isn’t “facing allegations…”, they settled the matter with the California AG. “Investigations were conducted between 2013 and 2015..”

    So they have had plenty of time to clean up their act. By implementing processes to comply with regulations. Auto Zone is a large, profitable retailer and should be up to the task.

  • avatar
    CapVandal

    Auto Zone isn’t “facing allegations…”, they settled the matter with the California AG. “Investigations were conducted between 2013 and 2015..”

    So they have had plenty of time to clean up their act. By implementing processes to comply with regulations. Auto Zone is a large, profitable retailer and should be up to the task.

  • avatar
    Lie2me

    What a pain this all is. I decided a long time ago that Walmart’s $20 oil change was well worth it not to hassle with it myself

  • avatar
    DeadWeight

    As far as the specialized auto part Brick and Mortar stores go, AutoZone is tied with NAPA as the bottom of the barrel, whereas Advanced Auto is actually acceptable.

    These brick and mortar stores all have sky high prices, but at least Advanced Auto, in many locations, has acceptably trained staff, and has their own line of maintenance parts like brake pads and batteries, that while mediocre, have long warranties, and the staff can always help with pulling codes in a pinch.

    These places are all hurting, though. Costco sells Interstate Batteries (rebranded Kirkland) with a killer pro-rata warranty, for about 70% of the cost of the garbage batteries that AZ and AA and NAPA sell, no one can touch Discount Tire or Tire Rack (especially when they run sales) on tire prices (Discount will always price match Tire Rack, even on sale/clearance prices), and then there is Rock Auto, Autoparts Geek, Amazon, etc., that can’t be touched for price (especially Rock Auto or Amazon sale prices).

    Pep Boys and the like are real cesspools full of the lowest quality crap and inflated prices with hoodrat staff.

    • 0 avatar
      Deontologist

      Where does O’Reilly rank, DW?

    • 0 avatar
      indi500fan

      My local NAPA is awesome, 4 of the 5 counter guys are aged 50+ lifers, they know everything about everything. I assume they pay much more than AZ and O’R who have a continually rotating cast of tatted and ear gauged clueless youngsters.

    • 0 avatar
      87 Morgan

      I am not certain that I agree with you here DW.

      I am an O’Reilly guy myself or NAPA depending on the situation. There is a guy at the local NAPA who really knows his stuff and has been quite helpful in the past.

      O’Reilly has what I need and their prices are fair. I use the house brand oil and WIX filters for my oil changes.

      Lastly, I have found that when a price is out of line all I need to do is point it out and they are happy to price match.

      • 0 avatar
        CaddyDaddy

        DW My NAPA is awesome. Staffed by lifers who know the difference from a Turbo Hydromatic and a Hydromatic and know that not just Ford made a 390.

        Also, Interstate Johnson Control batteries are JUNK. NAPA only stocks DEKA and they are far superior.

        Stick to your GM rants, they are spot on.

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    A nearby Chevy dealership used old oil to heat their shop. Seems that there should be some use for old motor oil. Back in the 70’s I use to buy recycled motor oil for my car for $0.18 a quart. The car had high mileage and leaked oil.

    • 0 avatar
      macmcmacmac

      I remember the old Chilton manual for my Dodge Aspen demonstrating the proper use of used oil to prepare fenceposts before setting them into the ground.

  • avatar
    NeilM

    Here in Indiana, stores that sell motor oil must also accept used oil for proper disposal. I don’t care about the precise mechanics of that, but I do care about it not ending up in a ditch somewhere, or some moron dumping it into their house drain.

    I’ve been taking mine to a nearby Autozone, which keeps a utility trolley by the counter where you can leave containers of oil. Now I’m wondering where it’s ending up.

    • 0 avatar
      HotPotato

      It gets re-refined and used in public and private fleets, among other places. They clean it, tip in a fresh additive package, etc. We’ve got about 100 vehicles running re-refined oil and have for 20+ years.

  • avatar
    DeadWeight

    Deontologist, Indi,87Morgan, CaddyDaddy:

    It’s just my opinion regarding NAPA. Yes, I agree that they do way better than, say, PepBoys (especially) or AutoZone from a staff knowledge POV, which isn’t a small thing, but they have high prices. They do sell higher quality items like WIX oil filters, also (though Motorcraft makes a great oil filter at a great price, as does Tokyo Roki – the true JDM ones).

    Regarding the battery comment, DEKA is made by East Penn and is a decent battery. interstate is a good battery with consistent quality control and good life expectancy that is a solid choice for those not wanting to spend mucho $ on “high end” batteries, many of which are absolutely not worth the 2x to 3x price premium, IMO.

    4 companies makes almost all auto batteries: Johnson Control, Exide, East Penn and Enersys (makes AMG, Odyssey and DieHard Platinum series).

    Interstate, especially when bought from Costco, has a great life span, consistently, at a great price, with a fantastic (Costco) warranty.

    • 0 avatar
      mason

      I’ve seen alot of Interstates (Johnson Controls) fail over the last 5 years. I’ve even seen brand new batteries with dead cells. 2 winters ago I spent an hour shoe horning a group 31 into a telehandler in 5 degree weather only to find out it was totally dead. Wouldn’t even take a charge off of a set of jumpers, so back out it came. I took a voltmeter with me for the replacement.

      Costcos warranty is interesting but I’m pretty certain it’s only good for one replacement and then you are on your own. Not such a good deal with the failure rates I have been seeing. I’ve since went back to Deka (East Penn) who makes Cat branded batteries among others. 5 year complete replacement – no pro rating. If their quality is on par with what it used to be I’ll be happy.

  • avatar
    pwrwrench

    Things are a bit different in California. As others have written, unless you go to a big effort you can, in the last 5 years, only get rid of a large battery, car, truck, motorcycle, UPS, etc, if you buy a new one. 20 years ago most any store that sold batteries would pay you for them. Then they would take them. Now, no.
    Antifreeze/coolant can only be taken to “household hazardous waste” sites. Repair shops have to pay to get the old oil, filters, and antifreeze taken away. And they better keep records of where it went.
    There is a company in the Los Angeles basin that has collected old oil, paint, and other things for many decades. About 30 years ago the state EPA and other agencies decided that the company was too messy. So they sent out legal papers to every business that had sent stuff there. They wanted those who had shipped old oil etc to pay for the “clean up”. When they had already paid to ship the oil there.
    BTW old oil used to be sold to companies that make Portland cement. They would use it to fuel their ovens where the stuff is baked. Not now because it’s “hazardous”. Then it was sold to ocean going ships to use for fuel. Apparently this was okay if some miles off shore. A small amount of old oil is filtered and used by govmnt agencies as engine oil with new additives. I have not seen “recycled” oil for sale in more than three decades. Apparently people would not buy it.
    The local Autozone removed the trash can from outside their front door about 6 months ago.

    • 0 avatar
      SoCalMikester

      there are still a few companies that deal in hazmat, e-waste, etc. stericycle and belshire environmental are 2 that i know of. with all the legal crap going around, im sure they are properly vetted. that janky place in the LA basin? probably not and probably the lowest bid.

    • 0 avatar
      MBella

      There’s actually a whole lot of recycled oil in the market. It’s just not advertised. The oil in your car right now might be recycled.

  • avatar
    SoCalMikester

    my local NAPA has 5 delivery trucks outside. they sell to pro mechanics who cant deal with “go-backs”. that would be the first place id go for hard parts- alternators, steering pumps, etc. the oreilly has a couple trucks as well, but napa is closer and has been around longer. they also have a handful of old white guys who seem to know their stuff.

    if you dump your old fluids down the toilet and flush a couple times it cant be traced. good for oil, paint, coolant, etc. might need to wipe the bowl out though ;)

    • 0 avatar
      ToddAtlasF1

      I’ve run a shop and worked at a couple of others. Which of the auto parts places is for pros will vary depending on where you are. Where I last worked, the best place was a Federated Auto Parts franchise. When I worked in the same small city, but on the other side of town, the best local parts place was an Advanced Auto Parts store. Not because of their parts, but because of their supply of experienced parts men answering their phones. Something about Autozone results in them hiring people with academic or demographic credentials to do jobs that require actual expertise. The one in my former city was like a set from Idiocracy. It was public defecation away from resembling a street scene in San Francisco or West Hollywood.

    • 0 avatar
      HotPotato

      Jeez, Mike, so YOU’re why we can’t have nice things. You know that sewer water is treated and recycled for growing crops and, in a few jurisdictions, for fresh water? Christ on a bike, toxics down the toilet…

  • avatar
    macmcmacmac

    I remember working at a shop years ago and having to dump oily sludge along the fence line to “keep the weeds down”. I had just dug it all out of the floor sump where it had built up like black mayo. I wised up and never did it again, refusing to even take full 5 gallon drums to the landfill for dumping. You can’t hide behind following orders. The fine goes directly to the person dumping the oil.

    There was that one day at a foundry where we needed a 55gal drum to store the oil we were going to remove from a machine. One of the drones kicked a drum full of waste oil over onto the ground and said “There you go!”

  • avatar
    Arthur Dailey

    What the heck happened the past few days, following this article are some of the more misinformed postings I have seen on TTAC.

    In Canada, we have Canadian Tire. Over 80% of Canadians, go into a Canadian Tire store on a monthly basis. It dominates the auto part/car care industry.

    Yes, many dealerships used to burn the old oil to heat their buildings. This became illegal over a decade ago. Unless they could spend many, many dollars on specialized equipment. None that I know of did.

    In Toronto, the human waste extracted from the sewage system is diverted, cleared of other contaminants, composted and eventually sold to agricultural interests to be used as fertilizer.

    Dumps and landfills emit methane gas. They contaminant the local ground water. The may contain products such as plastics that have lifespans longer than any of us. The European system of incinerating waste and using it to generate energy is not perfect but probably the best of some very bad practices.


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