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Thread: Environmentally responsible do-it-yourselfing

  1. #1
    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
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    Environmentally responsible do-it-yourselfing

    Environmentally responsible do-it-yourselfing
    By Eric Peters
    for immediate release

    Pouring used motor oil into a storm gutter is right up there with clubbing baby seals; it's just not done, son.

    Quart for quart, used motor oil is one of the biggest threats to the environment there is. It's not just that it's dirty (used motor oil contains acids and toxic compounds, including heavy metal residue and other harmful to living things byproducts of internal combustion). Motor oil is also insoluble -- and very slow to degrade. It takes as little as a single gallon of used motor oil to foul as much as one million gallons of drinking water, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    Unfortunately, some 60 percent of all do-it-yourself oil changers improperly dispose of their used motor oil -- tossing jugs of it in dumpsters or simply leaving buckets full of the glop for someone else to clean up.

    Here's what the EPA recommends you do with used motor oil:

    * Use a large drain pan to catch the oil as you drain it -- and to prevent if from spilling onto the ground.
    * Pour the used oil in a secure plastic container with a tight lid. (Plastic milk jugs work well and are easy to carry; use a funnel to avoid spills.)
    * Do not mix other chemicals/liquids (such as solvents or anti-freeze, etc.) with the used oil (this makes recycling harder).
    * Take the used oil to a service station that accepts used motor oil for recycling. (You can find such stations by asking owners/managers, or by checking with your local government. Some stations accept the used oil at no charge while others charge a small amount -- typically less than $5 for as much as 10 quarts of dirty oil.)
    * In most states, it is still legal for private individuals/do-it-yourselfers to dispose of the oil filter along with solid waste trash; however, try to drain as much oil from the filter as possible before tossing it in the trash -- and check with your local/state environmental authorities to determine whether recycling options exist (or are mandatory).

    (For more information, see the EPA's web site at http://www.epa.gov/epaoswer/hazwaste/usedoil).

    The old oil will eventually be recycled and re-used -- for everything from home heating oil to fresh engine oil. (The oil itself never wears out; once the contaminants are removed and fresh additives added, it is "good as new.")

    According to the EPA, a single gallon of used motor oil can be re-refined into the same 2.5 quarts of fresh motor oil that would otherwise require an astounding 42 gallons of crude oil. And if all the oil from American do-it-yourself oil changers were recycled, it would be enough motor oil for more than 50 million cars a year. Two gallons of recycled motor oil can also generate enough electricity to run the average household for about a day.

    Recycling is not just good for the environment -- it could also help put a dent in our dependence on foreign oil.

    Similarly, the best home for an old tire is not as far as you can throw the thing into the woods behind your house. Old tires can -- and should be -- be recycled. Left stacked in huge piles, they can become a fire hazard as well as a threat to the environment as they break down. In some areas, old tires provide a home for malaria-bearing mosquitos, too.

    Most tire shops will accept used tire carcasses for free (or for a small "hazardous materials disposal" fee; typically less than $10 for a set of four tires).

    And don't forget to properly dispose of old car batteries, too. These contain lead and sulfuric acid -- two highly unpleasant substances that need to be properly handled. As with used engine oil, much of the battery's "guts" can be recycled, too.
    (Usually, you can get a "core charge" refund simply by bringing it to the store where you bought the replacement battery.)

    Also be careful with ethylene glycol antifreeze -- which is lethal to animals (who are attracted to the sweet taste) and toxic to the environment. Never allow this stuff to just drain onto the ground. As with engine oil and other automotive fluids, it should always be stored in secure containers -- and taken to an appropriate recycler for safe disposal.

    END

  2. #2
    Senior Member Kwozzie1's Avatar
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    Re: Environmentally responsible do-it-yourselfing

    Seems the days of getting something for you old tyres have gone...they used to be retreaded/ recapped. I don't think that happens any more. The new product is cheaper today.
    Rex
    On the Sunshine Coast, in the Sunshine State Queensland (QLD), Australia

  3. #3
    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
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    Re: Environmentally responsible do-it-yourselfing

    I think that for big rigs, they still are... but for passenger cars, we get to pay a "disposal fee" when the shop replaces them with a set of new shoes.. it's notmuch, $10-$20 or so last time I dealt with it....

  4. #4
    DonTom
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    Re: Environmentally responsible do-it-yourselfing

    In both CA & NV, auto parts stores that sell engine oil must accept used engine oil at no cost. I bring mine to the closest Kragen auto parts store and there is one fairly close to both of my houses.

    I assumed this was the case in all states, that all auto parts stores had to accept used engine oil. Is this incorrect?
    -Don-

  5. #5
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    Re: Environmentally responsible do-it-yourselfing

    Part of the Clean Air Act of 1990 stipulated that anyone who sells oil at the retail level must take the used oil back for disposal. That is one of the very few reasonable parts of that legislation.

  6. #6
    D_E_Davis
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    Re: Environmentally responsible do-it-yourselfing

    Seems the days of getting something for you old tyres have gone
    A fairly new use for the old tires is to be ground up and used as an additive to asphalt paving (mcadam). According to to users it is longerlasting, smoother, and is quieter in heavy-traffic areas.

    ...they used to be retreaded/ recapped.
    Large trucks make extensive use of recaps. Also, aircraft tires are normally recapped.


  7. #7
    DonTom
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    Re: Environmentally responsible do-it-yourselfing

    "Large trucks make extensive use of recaps."

    Yes, and they are often large junks of them on the freeways for motorcycles to run into during the night. They are dark and hard to see and could easily kill a person on a bike. I wish they would make those recaps illegal.

    -Don-

  8. #8
    Senior Member Kwozzie1's Avatar
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    Re: Environmentally responsible do-it-yourselfing

    Quote Originally Posted by D_E_Davis

    ...they used to be retreaded/ recapped.
    Large trucks make extensive use of recaps. Also, aircraft tires are normally recapped.

    You are so right and it still happens down here too!
    Rex
    On the Sunshine Coast, in the Sunshine State Queensland (QLD), Australia

  9. #9
    D_E_Davis
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    Re: Environmentally responsible do-it-yourselfing

    Don,

    I wish they would make those recaps illegal.
    Please don't sprain anything by jumping to conclusions(g). First of all, about 90% of the debris rubber you see is from auto and/or small trailer tires. Secondly, if a tire sheds its tread it is just as likely that it was a new tire as a recap.

    Tread loss is almost always from the heat buildup caused by underinflation. Since the new tread on a recap is attached exactly the same way as the tread on a new tire the heat and stress to acuse it to detach are the same for either.

    Most of the rubber debris you see is from cars because auto drivers, as a rule, aren't anyways as meticulous about checking tire condition and inflation pressure.


  10. #10
    DonTom
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    Re: Environmentally responsible do-it-yourselfing

    First of all, about 90% of the debris rubber you see is from auto and/or small trailer tires.

    I have a hard time buying that, from what I have seen in the freeways.

    -Don-


  11. #11
    D_E_Davis
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    Re: Environmentally responsible do-it-yourselfing

    I have a hard time buying that, from what I have seen in the freeways.
    Hard time or not, them there are the facts. A 18" tire will shed a tread almost 5' long. If you're curious enough you need to stop and examine a reasonable sample (say, 20 or 30) of those dead treads and measure them with a tape, then compare to a sample of auto v/s truck tires. When comparing don't forget to evaluate SUV and pickup tires.

    Another indicator, here, is the amount of dead tire rubbish to be found on streets where a big rig never travels.


  12. #12
    DonTom
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    Re: Environmentally responsible do-it-yourselfing

    Another indicator, here, is the amount of dead tire rubbish to be found on streets where a big rig never travels.

    Such as highway 580 here in California, the section that does not allow trucks. I never saw any dead rubber on 580!
    -Don-


  13. #13
    D_E_Davis
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    Re: Environmentally responsible do-it-yourselfing

    Such as highway 580 here in California, the section that does not allow trucks. I never saw any dead rubber on 580!
    Now that puzzles me, as I've seen big rigs on I-580, both on the Altamont pass end and on the Richmond end.

    In any case I'm afraid you're just assuming that the rubber trash came off big rigs. A careful examination of a representative sample of that trash would show otherwise.


  14. #14
    DonTom
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    Re: Environmentally responsible do-it-yourselfing

    Now that puzzles me, as I've seen big rigs on I-580, both on the Altamont pass end and on the Richmond end.

    Yes, now see if you can find any trucks on 580 near Oakland. One difference you will notice in this area of 580 is that there's never any rubber in this section that does not allow trucks. On 580 near Altamont Pass, finding such on 580 is quite common, especially in the warmer summer months (when most motorcycles are out too!). Rethreads are put on with heat and they are removed the same way.

    -Don-

  15. #15
    D_E_Davis
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    Re: Environmentally responsible do-it-yourselfing

    Rethreads are put on with heat and they are removed the same way.
    Yes, but...that's the same way the original tread is put on. It appears that you've never spent any time in a tire factory, nor in a recap plant.

    Now, I'm not saying that there can't be quality problems in a recap plant, just as there can be in a new tire plant - the Firestone/Ford Exploder problem demonstrates that. Still, major trucking lines expect to get three recaps before a casing must be discarded, and if the tread peels then the casing is ruined, so from that you can see that there must be a small percentage of peels.

    After all, if retreading was suspect then it wouldn't be allowed for aircraft tires.

    now see if you can find any trucks on 580 near Oakland.
    What you are saying is that big rigs aren't allowed on that section from Fremont to the junction with SR24 - I didn't know that.


  16. #16
    DonTom
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    Re: Environmentally responsible do-it-yourselfing


  17. #17
    mrblanche
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    Re: Environmentally responsible do-it-yourselfing

    Quote Originally Posted by DonTom
    OK, and here's one for you:

    http://www.retread.org/Facts/index.cfm/ID/227.htm

    For all practical purposes, all truck tires are retreads from the moment they're built.

    And retreads have no higher failure rate that new tires.

    That said, we call those treads lying in the road "Road Alligators," because they'll definitely take a bite out of anything that runs over it. My truck (well, actually, one of my two trailers) was disabled this summer by a fairly small chunk of car tire that got kicked up by a vehicle next to me, hitting an air hose and breaking a fitting.

    I have always trained drivers to stop immediately when they blow out a tire and go back and take the alligators out of the road. Not very many drivers do that, but I have explained to them that leaving anything off your truck on the highway is a ticketable offense (by the way, the same applies to cars). What really scares me is people moving in open trailers or carrying stuff in the back of their pickups or carrying mattresses on their roof. Any of those can end up doing a lot more damage than a tire tread.

    And if you want to see a LOT of tire tread, take I-15 from L.A. to Las Vegas. Almost all of it from cars.

    Heat is the enemy of any tire, and underinflation is the most common cause. I learned that I could make money betting other drivers that not 10% of their tires were within 10% of their recommended inflation. On a typical truck, if two tires were within 10 pounds of their 100 psi recommendation, I would win. I almost always won. I could do the same with cars, by the way. If 1 tire was withing 10% of its recommended inflation, I'd lose. I don't lose often.

    I once worked for a small company whose operations manager was bellyaching in the head terminal office about trailer tire expenses. I took him down to the yard, grabbed my tire gauge, and we started checking. Out of 40 trailers (320 tires), we didn't find 8 within 10% of the recommended pressure. Not enough even for one trailer!

    The company I am currently with (until next week, probably) has all incoming trucks go through a safety check every time they arrive at a terminal, and since all their work is terminal to terminal, they get inspected on a daily basis. This usually includes a tire pressure check. I had one tire blow out there (only my second one in 29 years), but it had been made in 1998 and had been recapped 4 times since then. And it blew out a sidewall, not a tread.

  18. #18
    DonTom
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    Re: Environmentally responsible do-it-yourselfing

    OK, and here's one for you:

    Thanks, that was interesting. However, I still have a hard time buying that rethreads hold up as well as new tires. One problem I had with the artice is where it said:


    "I?ve been in the retread industry for more than thirty years:"


    And I know that:

    "It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends upon his not understanding it."
    --Upton Sinclair




    -Don Quoteman-

  19. #19
    mrblanche
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    Re: Environmentally responsible do-it-yourselfing

    Quote Originally Posted by DonTom

    Thanks, that was interesting. However, I still have a hard time buying that rethreads hold up as well as new tires.

    -Don-


    Well, you know, there are words for people who can't believe the evidence they see! People get an idea (especially a popular one, like truck retreads) and nothing can sway them from their original idea.

    My father-in-law is like that. He was down visiting us here in Texas, and we got in their Lincoln Town Car to go somewhere. He immediately turned the A/C to it's lowest temperature and put it on "Recirc." I pointed out that was exactly the wrong thing to do. He disagreed. His wife handed him the manual, and showed him the instructions. He conceded.

    A week later, we had the same discussion!

  20. #20
    DonTom
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    Re: Environmentally responsible do-it-yourselfing


    Well, you know, there are words for people who can't believe the evidence they see!


    I saw claims, not "evidence". You can also find claims in religious nonsense, but not "evidence".

    "A bare assertion is not necessarily the naked truth."
    --George D. Prentice



    I just edited my last message, so be sure to read it again. I would believe what I see about rethreads if it were from a company that made NEW tires. This world runs on BS and money is the main reason.

    -Don-

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