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Oil Filter Recycling Law

Wisconsin has now banned the landfilling of used oil filters and oil absorbents.

The following is a news release on oil filter recycling that was put out by the DNR Bureau of Waste & Materials Management. The Council on Recycling is pleased to see this program move forward; these topics were priorities of the Council for more than a decade.

Wisconsin residents now need to recycle used oil filters
Weekly News Article Published: January 11, 2011 by the Central Office

MADISON — Each year, Wisconsinites throw away an estimated 187,000 gallons of oil in used oil filters and 1.6 million gallons of oil in oil absorbents, says Jack Connelly, solid waste program coordinator for the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources waste and materials management program. Oil is a valuable, reusable material. By recycling filters and absorbent material, used oil can be extracted and reused.

A new law bans the disposal of used automotive oil filters and oil absorbent materials in landfills in Wisconsin as of January 1, 2011. The ban covers everyone in the state, including homeowners, farmers, businesses, industrial operations, and others.

The oil filters and absorbents ban is intended to keep these materials out of Wisconsin landfills and out of the landfill leachate that is collected from landfills and often treated at municipal wastewater treatment facilities.

Filters also contain steel components that can be recycled. Recycling the approximately nine million filters that currently enter the landfill will save more than 4.5 million pounds of steel for reuse.

Recycling options for oil filters and oil absorbent materials are available throughout the state. Many businesses that perform oil changes will accept used oil filters. Some communities allow used oil and oil filters to be collected at their waste transfer stations or at specific collection sites.

People should contact their local recycling program for more information. To find other recycling options in your community, see the Wisconsin Recycling Markets Directory (exit DNR; select the Motor Vehicle Items category and select oil filters or oil absorbents) on the University of Wisconsin Cooperative Extension Solid and Hazardous Waste Education website.

Used filters may also be used as a fuel supplement in an approved municipal solid waste combuster. Oil absorbent materials may be taken to an approved biopile at a landfill, used as a fuel supplement in an approved municipal solid waste combuster, or recycled.

More information on the ban, including more information on what the ban covers is available in a oil filter and absormant recycling media kit on the DNR website.