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Old 01-04-05, 07:51 AM   #1
Juha
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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
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Old 01-04-05, 08:39 AM   #2
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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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Old 01-04-05, 08:52 AM   #3
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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.
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Old 01-04-05, 09:18 AM   #4
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You could burn it.....
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Old 01-04-05, 10:24 AM   #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.
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Old 01-04-05, 10:36 AM   #6
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most solvents evaporate quicky if left open to the air...
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Old 01-04-05, 10:50 AM   #7
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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.
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Old 01-04-05, 11:06 AM   #8
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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.
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Old 01-04-05, 12:26 PM   #9
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Pour it into a storm sewer. Never had a problem, simple and easy.
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Old 01-04-05, 12:30 PM   #10
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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.....
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Old 01-04-05, 12:36 PM   #11
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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.
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Old 01-04-05, 01:34 PM   #12
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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.
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Old 01-04-05, 02:13 PM   #13
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I use kerosene to clean chains and parts and simply save the old stuff for starting the next bon fire.
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Old 01-04-05, 02:17 PM   #14
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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.
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Old 01-05-05, 02:41 AM   #15
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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
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Old 01-05-05, 08:21 AM   #16
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Most of the AutoZone car parts stores have a recycle container for used vehicle fluids. No Charge either!
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Old 01-05-05, 09:49 AM   #17
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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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Old 01-05-05, 11:04 AM   #18
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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....
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Old 01-05-05, 01:18 PM   #19
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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.
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Old 01-05-05, 01:38 PM   #20
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Huff it
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Old 01-05-05, 01:43 PM   #21
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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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Old 01-05-05, 05:20 PM   #22
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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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