Used hydraulic fluid means precisely what the name implies- a hydraulic fluid that has been used and is now ready for disposal. The hydraulic fluid keeps machines running smoothly. But there comes a time when dirt, chemicals, water, metal scrapings, and other impurities get mixed with the fluid, making it unable to perform well. Eventually, we have to replace it with virgin fluid to enhance the machine's performance.
After removing the old hydraulic oil, disposing of it becomes a problem, and it's not easy to determine how to get rid of it without exposing the EPA-approved PCB storage environment and human health to risks. Besides, users get confused about which fluids are reclaimable and, more importantly, best reclamation practices.
The following is a step-by-step guide of how to safely dispose of old hydraulic fluid.
1. Proper collection and storage
Collect the old hydraulic fluid and store it in a water-proof and leak-proof container. Appropriate storage prevents the fluid from spilling and contaminating the soil.
2. Reclaiming old hydraulic fluids
It's hard to talk about reclaiming fluids without thinking about "recycling." Do they mean the same thing? Does reclaiming hydraulic fluid make it good as new?
Today, "recycling" is a common term, but it's very generic. Recycling dirty fluids means filtering them to prescribed cleanliness to make them suitable for reuse.
On the other hand, hydraulic fluid reclamation means cleaning the fluid and restoring its base stock and additives to a new condition. Therefore, it's right to say that reclaimed hydraulic oil performs well like a new one.
3. Recycle the fluid at home
Before you throw away your used hydraulic fluid, note the following key things and put them into consideration:
- Hydraulic fluid is slow to degrade.
- The fluid is insoluble and persistent. Besides, it may contain heavy metals and toxic chemicals.
- It's sticky.
- It's one of the primary contaminants in waterways and can cause pollution of drinking water sources.
These points provide you with the key reasons why you should dispose of your old hydraulic fluid appropriately. Recycling is one of the best ways of disposing of the fluid because it diverts a significant volume of oil waste disposed of in water bodies and landfills.
4. Take the old hydraulic fluid to a local recycling facility
Your waste hydraulic fluid could be reclaimable and recyclable, but you don’t intend to reuse it at home. Instead of disposing of with your general waste, consider disposing of it at a recycling facility in your region.
If this facility isn’t available in your area, check with a local automobile maintenance facility to see if they accept old hydraulic fluids from motor vehicle owners.
Do you have old hydraulic fluid that you no longer use? Don’t throw it away. Instead, look around your neighbourhood, and you may find someone who can use it. Donating waste hydraulic oils is an excellent way of giving them a new life.
For more information, contact your local waste collectors and government waste officials for guidelines about where to drop off the fluid for recycling.