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Collection of Used Oil Found to be Key in Conservation

This study appraises used oil generation in California, in 2010. However, its key lessons and findings are relevant to other time periods, states and countries. In particular, the study concludes that:

  • the impacts of the used oil management system are greatly affected by the amount of uncollected and improperly disposed used oil;
  • increasing collection results in reduced impacts;
  • for a given collection rate, the environmental impacts, and the benefits achieved, of alternative dispositions (beneficial uses) for used oil are highly sensitive to several key factors -- particularly the mix of virgin products displaced by those from the used oil management system and the level of pollution control that is used, especially for combustion of Recovered Fuel Oil (RFO is used oil burned, typically with minimal pretreatment); and
  • no single disposition shows consistently lower impacts under all conditions, with greater benefits generally flowing from increasing collection, rather than from changing disposition.

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Collection of Used Oil Found to be Key in Conservation

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