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<Municipal Solid Waste Management>

Sound Practices
Special wastes

1.7.5 Used oils

Used oils are generated mostly in gas stations and in mechanics' shops. These oils frequently enter the sewage system, causing problems in treatment plants or in the receiving water bodies. When oil is collected haphazardly as part of the MSW stream, it causes problems at the landfill and often becomes part of the landfill leachate.


Sound practices for handling used oils
  • Re-refining into lubricating oil. The hazard associated with this practice is that the residues from the process are deposited in the MSW stream or in drains. Education must be geared to explaining the problems caused by this casual disposal. Ideally, residues should be burnt in a cement kiln. When this is not possible, residues should be placed in a landfill in a sealed container.
  • Use as a fuel. In this case, there is a risk that heavy metals contained in the oil will be emitted into the environment. Thus, used oil is best used as a fuel in cement kilns where heavy metals are absorbed into the cement matrix.


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