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  1. #1
    Formerly Known as Newbie Juha's Avatar
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    Disposal of solvents

    Hi.

    How do you all dispose of various solvents you use for example cleaning the drivetrain? I know they should not be poured into household sewers (they mess up the biological cleaning process) or poured on the ground (for obvious reasons). I have seen various solvents with the stamp "biodegradeable" on the package. Does anyone know if these are really any better in environmental sense, and do they do good job in cleaning when compared to traditional solvents?

    --J
    To err is human. To moo is bovine.

    Who is this General Failure anyway, and why is he reading my drive?


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  2. #2
    The Red Lantern Rev.Chuck's Avatar
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    Usually the county will have a hazadous waste disposal. Sometimes auto parts stores wil also take the stuff and they should know who will if they don't.
    Some cleaners are bio safe but the stuff you washed and mixed into it might not be.
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  3. #3
    H23
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    Senior Member H23's Avatar
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    It depends on your city-- some have hazardous material disposal facilities.

    Sometimes you can ask the local automobile service center to dispose of oil and solvents for you.

  4. #4
    I'm insane!!!! chambo7005's Avatar
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    You could burn it.....

  5. #5
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    Next time you change the oil in your car/truck/etc. bulk it up with the drain oil and take it to be disposed. Our local dump has a collection barrel for drain oils and by law (in Massachusetts) any dealer which sells oil must accept drain oil for recycling.

  6. #6
    is drunk again KingFoo's Avatar
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    most solvents evaporate quicky if left open to the air...

  7. #7
    Senior Member geoduck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KingFoo
    most solvents evaporate quicky if left open to the air...
    ...which contributes to air pollution. In a small way, but it's a fact.

    Be responsible, and find a household hazardous waste facility. If my little podunk town in Cali has one, I'm sure most towns in ultra-progressive Finland have disposal facilities.

  8. #8
    more ape than man timmhaan's Avatar
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    if you use simple green that stuff is fine to dump down the sink, toilet, or other household drain. the website actaully says it can help to clear out clogs. however, as rev. chuck pointed out the things you wash into it might not be kosher for the drain.

  9. #9
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    Pour it into a storm sewer. Never had a problem, simple and easy.

  10. #10
    40 something and counting forensicchemist's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ewitz
    Pour it into a storm sewer. Never had a problem, simple and easy.

    surely you jest.....

  11. #11
    Retrogrouch in Training bostontrevor's Avatar
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    The hazardous household chemicals approach is probably best.

    But if you're using a biodegradable solvent, it's probably not so terrible to just dump it down the sink. Think about how many basements and workshops have floor drains that drain into the same shared drainage system as the sink. If the stuff that goes down those things on a routine basis isn't a huge deal, the little bit that comes from your drivetrain just isn't going to be that significant.

    And you shouldn't pour it into a storm sewer if you're at all concerned about negative environmental impact. That stuff often drains to the nearest body of water so you'll be dumping straight into the environment.

  12. #12
    Direct Hit Not Required BlastRadius's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bostontrevor
    But if you're using a biodegradable solvent, it's probably not so terrible to just dump it down the sink. Think about how many basements and workshops have floor drains that drain into the same shared drainage system as the sink. If the stuff that goes down those things on a routine basis isn't a huge deal, the little bit that comes from your drivetrain just isn't going to be that significant.
    Along the same lines is detergent. If an automechanic who gets his jumpsuit all oily goes home and washes it in the washing machine with detergent, that goes to the same drain too. Same goes for oily rags.

  13. #13
    Tiocfáidh ár Lá jfmckenna's Avatar
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    I use kerosene to clean chains and parts and simply save the old stuff for starting the next bon fire.

  14. #14
    Senior Member Ziemas's Avatar
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    I use diesel. I put in a jar, let the sediment float to the bottom, and pour off the clean diesel into another jar. The sediment then goes out with the trash. The landfill is a lost cause in terms of enviromental protection as it is. I don't feel the least bit guilty for it.

  15. #15
    Formerly Known as Newbie Juha's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by geoduck
    Be responsible, and find a household hazardous waste facility. If my little podunk town in Cali has one, I'm sure most towns in ultra-progressive Finland have disposal facilities.
    Yes, we do have them. One collection point is fairly close to where I live, and that is where I have taken the chemicals so far. There is a small amount of bureaucracy involved (fill in a form), and finding a suitable container can sometimes be a bit of a hassle. I don't own a car so I buy these types of chemicals once in a blue moon, know next to nothing about them, and have no empty cans lying around.

    All these things combined I was tempted to try out some biodegradeable stuff for disposal at home, but never came to think about the fact the Right Reverend mentioned - even if the solvent is OK for the drainage system, the gunk from the drivetrain and other parts might not be. So even if I use a biodegradeable solvent, I'll continue to be a good scout and take the residual to the disposal facility.

    Thank you all for the input!

    --J
    To err is human. To moo is bovine.

    Who is this General Failure anyway, and why is he reading my drive?


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  16. #16
    Senior Member Don Cook's Avatar
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    Most of the AutoZone car parts stores have a recycle container for used vehicle fluids. No Charge either!

  17. #17
    Rex
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    Take it to a local gas station or auto mechanic shop. They know how to legally and safely dispose of all sorts of hazardous materials.

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    There are a lot of different kinds of solvents, so there is no simple answer. Since you have a proper disposal center in your area, I would advise you to use it. Those people saying to pour it down the drain are idiots. Some of the paperwork might be related to determining the correct disposal method; e.g. chloronated solvents should be handled differently than ordinary hydrocarbons like kerosine, odorless spirits, etc.

    I do wonder about the supposed 'biodegradability' of certain products advertized as such: citrus based solvends, Simple Green, etc. While the solvent itself may be water soluble and eventually break down, you are often using it to dissolve a lot of grease containing undesirable compounds....

  19. #19
    Senior Member Avalanche325's Avatar
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    I just take it down to the beach along with my used motor oil and dump it in the ocean. That way the fish eat it. We all eat the fish. So, I am recycling. And recycling is good for the environment.

    Just doin' my part.

  20. #20
    Listen to me powers2b's Avatar
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    Huff it

  21. #21
    hello roadfix's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Avalanche325
    I just take it down to the beach along with my used motor oil and dump it in the ocean. That way the fish eat it. We all eat the fish. So, I am recycling. And recycling is good for the environment.

    Just doin' my part.
    Wouldn't it be easier to just dump it into the storm drain since you don't live near the beach? As for me, I dump my used motor oil right across the street in Elysian Park....along with all my yard trimmings. I'm contributing to the planet's petro reserve and also mulching the park grounds at the same time....
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  22. #22
    Senior Member Avalanche325's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Fixer
    Wouldn't it be easier to just dump it into the storm drain since you don't live near the beach?
    Well, I didn't want to be lazy................

    Quote Originally Posted by The Fixer
    As for me, I dump my used motor oil right across the street in Elysian Park....along with all my yard trimmings. I'm contributing to the planet's petro reserve and also mulching the park grounds at the same time....
    That is a great idea, adding back into the ground oil reserves like that. If everyone would do it, we would never run out of oil.

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