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FAQs

Providing guidance for do-it-yourselfers and businesses.

This summary provides general information only and is not all inclusive. All managers of used oil are responsible for compliance with the New Hampshire Hazardous Waste Rules, Env-Hw 100-1200. Should there be additional questions, please contact the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services (NHDES), Waste Management Division at (603) 271-6424, 1-888-TAKEOIL, or usedoil@des.nh.gov. For a complete description of the requirements, refer to New Hampshire’s Hazardous Waste Rules (Env-Hw 100-1200), which may also be obtained by contacting the NHDES Public Information Center at (603) 271-8876.

 

For Do-It-Yourselfers

What is DIY Used Oil?

“Do-it-yourself (DIY) used oil” means oil that is derived from households, such as used oil generated by individuals through the maintenance of their personal, non-business vehicles. DIY used oil generators (i.e., homeowners) are exempt from the requirements of New Hampshire’s Hazardous Waste Rules.

 

Where can I (a household generator of used oil) bring my DIY used automotive oil?
  • OPTION ONE: Contact your local municipal solid waste transfer station to determine if they collect used automotive oil. A list of transfer stations collecting DIY Used Oil can be found here: Municipalities Collecting Household Generated Used Oil
  • OPTION TWO: Bring used motor oil to a municipal household hazardous waste collection day. For more information, dates, and locations contact your local municipality.
  • OPTION THREE: If you are unable to bring your used automotive oil to a municipal collection center, consider contacting a commercial business who may collected household Used Oil. A list of businesses that may collect used oil can be found here: Businesses Collecting Household Generated Used Oil.
  • OPTION FOUR: For larger amounts of used automotive oil, contact a registered Used Oil transporter for proper management. 

When determining where to bring your DIY used oil always call ahead; used oil collection policies are subject to change at any time. 

 

What should I do with my contaminated automotive oil?

Used automotive oil mixed with antifreeze, paint thinner, gasoline, or other similar household hazardous waste should be disposed of at a local household hazardous waste collection day.

NHDES recommends not mixing used automotive oil with any other substances as this may affect its ability to be recycled and restrict disposal options.

 

How should I store used automotive oil at home?

Proper storage of used automotive oil is important to ensure your safety and the health of the environment. Under no circumstances should Used Oil be disposed of by dumping onto land, into water, or down any drain.


NHDES recommends:

  1. Storage in a structurally sound sealable container (ideally transparent to allow for visual inspection upon disposal).
  2. That containers be stored out of the elements (i.e., garage, equivalent).

 

For Businesses

What is used oil?

Used Oil is any oil that has been refined from crude oil and any synthetic oil that, through use or handling, has become unsuitable for its original purpose due to the presence of physical or chemical impurities or loss of original properties. The oil must have been used as a lubricant, coolant (non-contact heat transfer fluid), emulsion, or for some similar use.

Is used oil considered hazardous waste? 
  • Used Oil is a listed hazardous waste in New Hampshire. It carries the waste number NH01.
  • When Used Oil is recycled by either being re-refined or burned for energy recovery, it may be managed as Used Oil for Recycle under less stringent requirements in Section Env-Hw 807 of the New Hampshire Hazardous Waste Rules. To be managed under Env-Hw 807 an initial used oil determination must be performed.
  • Used Oil must be managed as NH01 hazardous waste under the Env-Hw 500 standards if the oil is not recycled, or if it contains high levels of contaminants.

The full set of Hazardous Waste Rules can be found here: New Hampshire Hazardous Waste Rules.

 

How do I perform an initial Used Oil determination?
  • A Used Oil determination is a set of tests necessary to determine if Used Oil can be managed under the less stringent Env-Hw 807 standards. A Used Oil determination only needs to be repeated if there is a change in the process that generates the used oil or if the type(s) of oil changes.
  • To conduct a Used Oil determination NHDES suggests working directly with a laboratory. A list of labs operating in New England can be found here: Laboratories that Perform Used Oil Determinations

Used Oil generated solely from automotive sources does not need to be tested.

 

What is an initial Used Oil Determination testing for?
  • An initial Used Oil determination tests for arsenic, cadmium, chromium, lead, flashpoint, total halogens and PCBs. Used Oil is classified as specification, off-specification, or hazardous waste, depending on level of contamination.
  • If Used Oil exceeds the off-specification standards, it must be managed as NH01 hazardous waste under Env-Hw 500.
  • Refer to sections Env-Hw 807.02 and Env-Hw 807.03 of the Hazardous Waste Rules for specific contamination levels for each type of used oil.  

New Hampshire Hazardous Waste Rules

 

How do I properly manage my containers of Used Oil?
  • Used Oil must be stored in structurally sound containers or tanks;
  • Containers or tanks must be labeled “Used Oil for Recycle”; and
  • Containers must be kelp closed when Used Oil is not being actively added or removed.  
  • If containers are stored outdoors additional regulations apply. For further information regarding outdoor storage, see Water Quality/Quantity rules: Env-Wq 401.04 – Storage of Regulated Substances.

 

What are the standards for transporters of used oil?

Used Oil Transporters must:

  • Register with the State of New Hampshire as a hazardous waste transporter and obtain an EPA identification number.
  • Use a three-copy bill of lading with each shipment of used oil for recycle as described in Env-Hw 807.06(b)(11). If the used oil is being shipped to a state that requires the use of a hazardous waste manifest, a hazardous waste manifest may be used instead of a bill of lading.
  • Maintain copies of each bill of lading for three years from the date of shipment.
  • Submit an annual used oil activity report to NHDES for used oil transport activity in the immediately preceding calendar year.

For further information, see Hazardous Waste Rules: Env-Hw 807.07 – Standards for Transporters of Used Oil Being Recycled or the Hazardous Waste Reporting and Information Management Section

 

What are the standards for marketers of used oil being recycled?

A “Used Oil marketer” is any person who engages in the act of marketing unless exempt under Env-Hw 807.08(b). An “act of marketing” is the transfer of Used Oil from one party to another, regardless of whether a fee or charge is collected for the transfer.

Used Oil Marketers must:

  1. Notify NHDES of its Used Oil management activities by completing a RCRA C Site Identification Form.
  2. Perform sampling and analyses on each batch of Used Oil being marketed.
  3. Comply with additional recordkeeping requirements, which can be found in the Hazardous Waste Rules: Env-Hw 807.09 – Standards for Marketers of Used Oil Being Recycled.

 

What are the standards for burners of Used Oil Being Recycled?

Burners of Used Oil must:

  1. Notify both NHDES’ Waste Management and Air Resources Division of its burning activity.
  2. Perform analysis on the Used Oil or maintain documentation of analysis conducted by a Used Oil marketer.
  3. Burn used oil only in proper types of devices allowed by the Hazardous Waste Rules.
  4. Comply with additional recordkeeping requirements.

The full set of requirements for burners of used oil fuel can be found in Env-Hw 807.10 – Standards for Burners of Used Oil Fuel

If a burner of used oil fuel accepts used oil from any other business, the marketing requirements discussed in the above question need to be met.