How to Safely Dispose of Lamp Oil
Lamp oil provides the fuel for beautiful and electric free lights, but it can be harmful if ingested or exposed to heat. You must dispose of it correctly so as not to harm your environment and other people around you. Luckily, the steps for disposing of this material is actually really easy. Here’s what to do.
Why You Can’t Throw Lamp Oil in Your Garbage Bin
Lamp oil is typically made from kerosene or paraffin. Both of these materials are fuel and made of a variety of chemicals. Whenever the fuel is burned, they aren’t dangerous to you or your family. It is only when they are consumed or exposed to some sort of fire that they can be incredibly dangerous.
Because of these safety factors, you cannot put these materials in a landfill. In a landfill, the fuels will contaminate the environment and potentially spread to water sources. There, they can potentially be consumed or start an unintentional fire. This is highly dangerous for everyone in the environment, including people and animals.
What About the Drain?
You also cannot put lamp oil down the drain. Putting lamp oil down the drain can potentially damage your pipe. Not to mention, pipes have to lead somewhere, causing the lamp oil to contaminate wherever it ends up.
Safety Tips When Handling Lamp Oil
Before getting started with disposing of your lamp oil, you need to know a few safety tips. Since lamp oil is fuel, it can be incredibly dangerous if you are not careful. Always put your safety first when handling this or any other type of fuel.
Do Not Mix Oil with Other Liquids
Most importantly, do not mix the lamp oil with any other type of fluid. For example, do not mix lamp oil with gasoline. Though it may be tempting to dispose of all of your household hazards at one time and in one place, most centers do not accept impure fluids and they can pose a danger to you and your home.
Wear Safety Gear
Make sure that you are wearing the proper safety gear when handling lamp oil. Safety or protective gloves should always be worn when you are collecting the oil. Also, wear long sleeves to protect the rest of your body.
Keep the Oil Away from Children, Pets, or Heat Sources
Make sure that the lamp oil is away from children, animals, or potential heating sources. The safety tip is pretty obvious, but we felt we needed to mention it anyways.
Disposing of lamp oil is pretty easy, but there are some things you need to do before the actual disposal process. This will make it much easier to dispose of the oil correctly and efficiently.
Prepping for Disposal
Before doing anything, wear the proper safety gear. Lamp oil isn’t the most dangerous substance to simply touch, but you want to be proactive in protecting your body. Wear gloves and long sleeves whenever handling lamp oil.
With your safety gear on, you need to make sure that the lamp oil is stored properly. Storing the lamp oil allows you to safely transport it and distribute it to a local hazardous waste center. There are certain containers that are specifically designed for storing lamp oil. Make sure that your lamp oil is stored in one of these containers.
Containers designed for lamp oil ensure that the fuel is not ignited during transport. It also keeps all of the liquid inside of the container so that it does not spill out. Grab a permanent marker and simply label the container “lamp oil.”
How to Dispose of Lamp Oil
Here is how to dispose of your lamp oil once you have finished with the prep stage:
1. See if Anyone You Know Wants Lamp Oil
It is always best to not waste any products. Before disposing of your lamp oil, see if a family member or friend needs any oil for themselves. This is a great way to save resources and not waste anything in your home. If you know someone who wants the oil, simply take the secured container of lamp oil to their home.
Even if you don’t know anyone personally who likes lamp oil, there are tons of groups on the Internet that can connect you to those in need. For example, a site like freecycle.org can connect you with people in your area to donate your free lamp oil to. If you do not know of anyone who wants lamp oil, follow the rest of these steps.
2. Find a Disposal Location
Lamp oil must be disposed of at a proper disposal location. Where you dispose of it will depend purely on your city and area. Looking online is the easiest way to find a place that collects hazardous chemical waste.
Most larger counties or cities will have a hazardous waste center. These centers will often be supported by the local government. Some smaller towns, however, may not have the resources to collect hazardous waste like lamp oil.
Certain stores, gas stations, and auto shops use lamp oil, too. You should be able to find out their donation process by checking out their website or calling them up on the phone. Make sure that you talk to the store beforehand to learn of their process.
If you cannot find a store near you to accept your unused lamp oil, call the fire department. They will be able to give you directions as to what to do next. Some fire departments may even be able to accept the lamp oil to dispose of it for you.
3. Drop Off
Once you know where to dispose of your lamp oil at, you can take it for drop off. Make sure that the lamp oil is completely pure and not mixed with any other fuel type. Most centers will not accept impure lamp oil. Also, only transport the oil in an approved container, and clearly mark the container so that they know what is inside it.
Follow any other directions that they may give you as well. Certain centers will have specific hours, regulations, and rules. Know all of this information beforehand to save you anytime for drop off.
Instead of dropping off the lamp oil, some organizations or stores may pick it up from your home. If that’s the case, still store the lamp oil in a jar and label it clearly for their transport. Before picking up, ask the organization about any fees that may be required for the pickup.
Lamp oil isn’t hard to dispose of, but you can’t just toss it into your bin. Instead, all you need to do is find a household hazard waste collection center near you. Then, store the lamp oil in an appropriate container and drop it off. It is that simple, yet it will save the environment in the process.
Featured image credit: Designer-Obst, Pixabay
- Why You Can’t Throw Lamp Oil in Your Garbage Bin
- Safety Tips When Handling Lamp Oil
- Getting Started
- How to Dispose of Lamp Oil