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The following fact sheet was prepared by the ECAR Center staff. Once prepared, each ECAR Center fact sheet undergoes a review process with the applicable state environmental agency(ies). You can check on the status of the review process here. Please read the disclaimer on the status page. While we have tried to present a summary of the essential information on this topic, you should be aware that other items, such as local regulations, may apply to you.
What You Need to Know
To dispose of used oil filters, you need to drain out the used oil thoroughly first. The oil can then be handled with the rest of your used oil (see the ECAR Used Oil Fact Sheet). What you do with the drained filter will depend on your location. As a rule, you can't put them in the trash -- it is illegal in Maryland to put used oil filters in a landfill, drained or otherwise. Under some special circumstances, if your trash hauler delivers trash to an incinerator, you can make a special arrangement with them to take the filters. But you need to get their agreement in writing. Your waste oil processor may also accept the filters.
The state of Maryland does not consider used oil filters to be a hazardous waste if the following management procedures are adhered to:
Disposal Restrictions. Maryland law prohibits disposal of used oil filters in a landfill or in any trash destined for a landfill. If your local disposal company sends its collected refuse to a waste-to-energy plant (an incinerator used to burn municipal solid waste and make electricity), you may be able to obtain written permission from them to dispose of your drained oil filters in the trash. Otherwise, used oil filters must be either recycled or disposed of through a state registered used oil filter processor.
Storage. Used oil filters must be stored in above ground containers which are clearly labeled "Used Oil Filters," and which are in good condition. The storage containers must be protected from weather and stored on an oil impermeable surface.
Spill Control. If an oil spill occurs as a result of draining or handling used oil filters, you must perform the following cleanup steps:
If you store used oil filters outdoors, the storage area must be addressed in your Spill Prevention and Countermeasures (SPCC) Plan (see ECAR Fact Sheet Spill Prevention and Countermeasures (SPCC) Plan).
Used Oil Filter Transport. When you send used oil filters off-site, they must be transported by a state certified transporter. Check with your MDE district office or MDE Hazardous Waste Program at 410-537-3345 for a current list of approved transporters.
Links to the Regulations. Use the following links to view the regulations pertaining to used oil filter management.
When an inspector comes to your facility, there are certain things they check to see if you are in compliance with environmental regulations. It makes good sense for you to perform a "self-audit" and catch and correct problems before they result in penalties. Also, there are some compliance incentives associated with self-audits (see Audit Policy Page).
Use the following list to audit your used oil storage areas and management procedures.
Most regulations tell you what you have to do to be in compliance, but they don't explain how to do it. That's where "best management practices" come into play. BMPs are proven methods that help you to get into compliance and stay there. The following BMPs are recommended for used oil filter management.
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