WASTE OIL

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One of the biggest sources of oil pollution in the United States could be coming from your garage. I’m Jim Metzner and this is the Pulse of the Planet.

ambience: car start

“We believe that do-it-yourselfers, or those people who change their own motor oil dump an estimated 185 million gallons of used motor oil every single year in this country. That amount is the equivalent of some 35 large tanker fills, or, in Michigan alone, every single year we lose an Exxon Valdez tanker full of oil.”

Julie Stoneman is former Program Director for the Michigan Used Motor Oil Recycling Program.

“When oil is dumped, it depends on how it is dumped or where it is dumped, but it can take many paths to the environment. For instance, if you dump it down a sewer and that sewer drains directly into a water source like a river or stream, that’s where the oil ends up. If the oil goes out in the trash and taken to a landfill, it can be part of the leachate that is collected in a landfill and can enter groundwater systems.”

ambience, oil pump

Of course, the oil could also be recycled. Right now, we’re listening to the sounds of a pump at a used motor oil recycling plant.

“In many states that provide it are collection sites or collection systems that are set up specifically for people who change their own motor oil. In Michigan, we have a network of collection sites that are volunteer: service stations, car dealerships, retailers, non-profit recyclers, others who willingly accept used motor oil from the public. And they then collect that oil, have it shipped to recyclers for recycling. And that is probably the best option that we have right now.”

Pulse of the Planet is presented by the National Science Foundation. I’m Jim Metzner.

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WASTE OIL

What spills 185 million gallons of oil a year in the US? The answer may surprise you.
Air Date:02/10/1993
Scientist:
Transcript:


music

One of the biggest sources of oil pollution in the United States could be coming from your garage. I’m Jim Metzner and this is the Pulse of the Planet.

ambience: car start

“We believe that do-it-yourselfers, or those people who change their own motor oil dump an estimated 185 million gallons of used motor oil every single year in this country. That amount is the equivalent of some 35 large tanker fills, or, in Michigan alone, every single year we lose an Exxon Valdez tanker full of oil.”

Julie Stoneman is former Program Director for the Michigan Used Motor Oil Recycling Program.

“When oil is dumped, it depends on how it is dumped or where it is dumped, but it can take many paths to the environment. For instance, if you dump it down a sewer and that sewer drains directly into a water source like a river or stream, that’s where the oil ends up. If the oil goes out in the trash and taken to a landfill, it can be part of the leachate that is collected in a landfill and can enter groundwater systems.”

ambience, oil pump

Of course, the oil could also be recycled. Right now, we’re listening to the sounds of a pump at a used motor oil recycling plant.

“In many states that provide it are collection sites or collection systems that are set up specifically for people who change their own motor oil. In Michigan, we have a network of collection sites that are volunteer: service stations, car dealerships, retailers, non-profit recyclers, others who willingly accept used motor oil from the public. And they then collect that oil, have it shipped to recyclers for recycling. And that is probably the best option that we have right now.”

Pulse of the Planet is presented by the National Science Foundation. I’m Jim Metzner.

music