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Doesn’t most motor oil get recycled these days?

The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection notes that car owners dispose of 11 million gallons of used oil a year and only 14 percent is recycled! The rest, 9.5 million gallons, is dumped, either into sewers, on the ground, or into the trash. Obviously, very little motor oil is recycled.  “Green Marketing,” author Jacquelyn Ottman, indicates that used motor oil is the largest single source of pollution in our nation’s waterways.

But synthetic motor oil is better for the environment, right?

It is common to hear that synthetic motor oils are greener than conventional motor oils. Well, there are really two ways to go green by reducing oil-based pollution. One is by recycling what you do make and the other is reducing the amount of it you make so less is thrown out.

When it comes to recycling, obviously more is better.  Everyone can play a part in this. Source reduction is where synthetics demonstrate their clearest advantage. Since synthetic motor oils can be used for a longer time than conventional oils (longer drain intervals), you don’t have to make as much of it.  The result is that less is thrown out.

There is another environmentally friendly feature offered by synthetic oils also. Due to their lower volatility, synthetics do not boil off as much as petroleum motor oils, which can lose up to 20 percent of their mass in the high heat conditions of the internal combustion engine. Synthetics only lose from 4 to 8 percent.

Government regulations and rising consumer awareness continue to drive the push for environmental improvements in the auto industry. While the environmental issue is not a hot button issue for many Americans, there is a growing percentage of consumers who make Green a pre-eminent factor in their decision making. Some are so Green, in fact, that they won’t use some cars at all because they are fuel inefficient and pollute.



Earthgarage – Greener Car. Fatter Wallet.