A change in state law is aimed at getting people who change their own oil to recycle the used oil filter. Iowa Department of Natural Resources environmental specialist Tom Anderson says the law passed last legislative session makes retailers who sell the filters responsible for helping recycle.
Retailers will be required to either accept used oil filters for recycling, or post a notice of the location of the closest collection point where consumers can take used oil filters.
Anderson says the businesses may charge customers for bringing back the used filters. There are a couple of reasons for pushing people to recycle the filters, according to Anderson. He says the state loses the opportunity to recover the scrap metal when filters are put in the landfill. And he says even when you drain the oil out of the filters, there’s still a small amount of oil left in the filters that could leak out into the groundwater and contaminate the surface water.
Anderson says there’s not data on how many people change their own oil, but they do know the impact of filters that are landfilled. "Thousands and thousands of gallons of oil contained inside the used filters are still being landfilled, that much we’re pretty sure of," Anderson says.
Individuals or businesses generating or collecting used oil filters from consumers are also now required to separate the filters from other waste for recycling. This includes all non-household businesses that generate used oil filters. For more information on recycling oil filters and used oil, visit the Iowa Department of Natural Resources website .