The preferred method of handling used oil filters is recycling. Recycling of this item is not required under the regulations. Recycling greatly reduces your potential liability exposure, i.e. clean-up from mishandling and/or disposal at a potential Superfund site. Typically, draining does not remove all the oil from the filter. Yes, there is a choice and it is your choice. The key phrase to remember is "Oil filters found to be not drained, not crushed and/or contain free flowing oil, are subject to determination as hazardous waste under LAC 33:V.Chapter 40."
The "Official" DEQ response has been:
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a final rule on May 20, 1992 which excludes oil filters from hazardous waste determination as long as they are treated in one of the following ways or recycled:
Commercial non-terne plated used oil filters are exempt from Toxic Characteristic Leaching Procedure (TCLP) testing provided the used oil is removed in any of the following ways:
- Puncturing the filter anti-drain valve or the filter dome end and hot draining for 12 hours. Hot draining is the practice of draining a used oil filter at or near engine operating temperatures;
- Hot-draining and crushing;
- Dismantling and hot-draining; or
- Any other equivalent hot-draining method that will remove used oil.
Oil filters found to be not drained, not crushed and/or contain free flowing oil, are subject to determination as hazardous waste under LAC 33:V.Chapter 40 and shall not be placed in a municipal or industrial landfill. Used oil filters generated by a household qualify for the household hazardous waste exemption.
A terne plated oil filter is a filter containing an alloy of tin and lead which exhibits the characteristic of toxicity for lead. Almost all US made oil filters are non-terne plated.
If you choose not to recycle, we suggest that you "hot drain" your filters for a month. At the end of the month, look in the bottom of the barrel of used filters and see how much oil has seeped from them. That might give you some idea of the "free flowing oil" that might remain in your dumpster.