A new law is now in place in Iowa requiring retailers that sell oil filters to accept used oil filters from customers or post notice of where those used filters can be recycled. Tom Anderson, an environmental specialist with the Department of Natural Resources, says the rule went into effect Wednesday.
He says the law also requires businesses that generate used oil filters to separate the filters for recycling. The idea is to keep that used oil out of landfills and avoid contaminating water and land resources. "Every oil filter, even if it’s properly drained per EPA guidelines, still contains several ounces of oil," Anderson said.
The steel from the filter and the filter itself can also be recycled. Enforcement of the new law will generally rely on landfill operators reporting to the DNR if they spot businesses placing used oil filters in the trash.
"Right now, the enforcement is basically going to be self-policing," Anderson said. "The penalty is a simple misdemeanor. I know that’s being looked at as a possible point for change in the future." More information about the used oil filter rules and resources for retailers are available from the Iowa DNR website .