Scott and Sabrina Southworth knew they would be doing a lot of remodeling when they bought Ketterman‘‘s ServiCenter 16 months ago. The Free-Lance Star in Fredericksburg, Virginia reports that one thing the previous owner had installed at the auto repair shop in Caroline County caught their attention: a heater that burns used motor oil. Initially, they thought that would be among the first items to be replaced–with a conventional heater.

But it turns out that, not only was it a money-saver, but also good for the environment and a tax break. So they decided to spend $6,000 on a new used-oil furnace, which heats the shop in Bowling Green. Now Ketterman‘‘s is certified by the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality as a recycling site for used oil. Customers and people in town know they can drop off used oil there. Southworth estimates they burned 1,200 to 1,500 gallons last winter. Some of that oil might otherwise have been dumped in landfills or yards–polluting area rivers and streams.

Daniel S. Gwinner, with the DEQ, said about 975 businesses in Virginia qualify for the tax credit. More than 100 sign up each year. The oil, he said, typically fuels either heaters or boilers. Companies get it from collection sites, or have disposal areas on site. The state enacted the tax break in 1999. The credit is equal to half the purchase price of equipment used exclusively for burning waste oil, and can‘‘t exceed $5,000.

USA – turning the used-up into usable

Everett Mello, above, owner of Dave‘‘s Tire and Auto Service of Fall River, burns used motor oil in a furnace to keep his garage warm. The Providence Journal in Rhode Island reports that one thing‘‘s for sure: used batteries, oil and tires do not just fade away. Nor can they be thrown away. All have to be recycled: Batteries broken down into their basic elements, tires shredded and used as fuel or for surfaces and waste oil either burned in special boilers or recycled into semi-clean oil. Ideally, nothing goes to waste.

Used batteries

Everett Mello, president of Dave‘‘s Tire and Auto Service in Fall River, said he trades in his used batteries for new ones one-to-one in a deal with Interstate Batteries. “For every one we buy, we take one back,” he said, adding that Interstate collects old batteries once a month from his shop.

“Batteries actually have the highest recycling rate, about 94 percent, 95 percent,” said Tom Armstrong, principal environmental planner for the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management. He said part of the reason was the incentive given to consumers to bring them back in the form of a “core charge,” or deposit that is refunded when the battery is returned. “The manufacturers and distributors want them back, as the used core has a value to it,” he said.

While batteries can oftentimes be recharged, he said the three main elements of a battery – the acid, plastic casing and lead – are all recovered and recycled.

Rhode Island, however, has no recycling plants for either batteries or tyres. After Interstate picks up the batteries from Dave‘‘s Tire, it sends them to Middletown, N.Y., where they are recycled, according to Mike St. Don, distributor for Interstate Batteries of Cape Cod, which covers southeastern Massachusetts. “We‘‘ve been recycling batteries for forever,” he said. He said the acid is turned into detergent while the lead and plastic are stripped out and recycled.

Waste oil

Waste oil from cars and trucks is either burned as a fuel or cleaned to create a semi-clean oil known as spec oil, which is then mixed with virgin oil for use in small factories.

Mello uses all the waste oil left over from oil changes to heat his shop. “I‘‘ve got a waste-oil burner,” he said, noting t

Ano da Publicação:
WARMER BULLETIN ENEWS #22-2007-June 01, 2007
Kit Strange/Warmer Bulletin
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