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Skip Navigation LinksDNREC : Division of Waste & Hazardous Substances : SHWM

 
Auto Repair Shop Waste Do's and Don'ts

 

Antifreeze

DO'S

ü  Recycle your own antifreeze or use a recycling service. Consider keeping antifreeze in two separate, closed containers: one for antifreeze that can't be reused marked "WASTE ANTIFREEZE ONLY," and one for antifreeze that can be reused marked "USABLE ANTIFREEZE ONLY".

ü  If you recycle antifreeze on the premises, the filters and other recycling by-products may be a hazardous waste. Manage antifreeze recycling waste appropriately.

DON'TS

ü  Don't dispose of antifreeze to the sewer without your wastewater treatment plants approval.

ü  Don't ever dispose of antifreeze to a storm drain, septic tank, or dry well, and never pour antifreeze on the ground.

ü  Don't mix waste antifreeze with any other waste. Keep it separate.

Batteries

DO'S

ü  Avoid long-term storage of batteries by sending them to a reclaimer at least every six months.

ü  Store batteries upright in a secure, covered place and check them often for leaks.

DON'TS

ü  Don't store batteries outside. 8 Don't put batteries in the garbage.

ü  Don't drain batteries into a drain or on the ground. Used lead acid batteries are not a hazardous waste if returned to a battery manufacturer for regeneration or a battery recycler.

Brake fluid

DO'S

ü  Brake fluid can be mixed with other used oils for recycle.

ü  Mark the container "used oil only".

DON'TS

ü  Don't put brake fluid down any drain or on the ground.

ü  Don't spray brake cleaner around brake fluid.

Cold tank (carburetor cleaner)

DO'S

ü  Consider eliminating chlorinated carb cleaner and switching to a less hazardous, non-chlorinated cleaner.

ü  Keep the container closed when not in use to avoid evaporation and recycle it when spent.

ü  When spent, label the container "HAZARDOUS WASTE - CARB CLEANER".

DON'TS

ü  Don't dispose of spent cold tank cleaner down any storm drain, septic system, dry well, or sewer.

ü  Don't put sludge from your cold tank into the dumpster or on the ground.

Floor cleaning waste water

DO'S

ü  Keep your floors clean to begin with. Catch leaks before they hit the floor and pace in appropriate waste container.

ü  Clean small, non-chlorinated spills immediately with absorbent. Sweep and save for reuse until absorbing ability is gone. It can then go in the dumpster (with Delaware Solid Waste Authority approval).

ü  Receive permission from your local sewer utility for your floor cleaning wastes to enter the sewer. 4 Use absorbent pads and wring out to appropriate waste container when saturated.

DON'TS

ü  Don't use absorbents to clean up chlorinated solvents and then dispose to the dumpster. These are hazardous wastes.

ü  Don't let floor cleaning waste water go to an outside or inside storm drain or dry well.

Freon (CFCs)

DO'S

ü  Recycle waste freon on the premises using EPA certified recycling or recovery equipment

ü  Keep records of the dates and amounts of onsite freon recycling.

 DON'TS

ü  Don't evaporate or vent freon. This is illegal.

ü  Don't forget to manage filters from freon recovery equipment as hazardous waste.

Fuel Filters

DO'S

ü  Accumulate used fuel filters in a separate, marked, fireproof container.

ü  Determine through testing if your fuel filters are hazardous, and dispose of them accordingly.

DON'TS

ü  Don't put used fuel filters in the dumpster unless you have received approval from your local landfill.

Hot tank solution

DO'S

ü  Accumulate all sludge from hot tanks in a closed, marked container and dispose of as hazardous waste.

DON'TS

ü  Don't dispose of spent hot tank solution down any drain or on the ground.

ü  Don't put hot tank sludge into the dumpster or on the ground.

ü  Don't forget to consider alternative cleaning methods such as detergent-based parts washers.

Paint spray booth filters

DO'S

ü  Change filters only when needed.

ü  Always make sure that the filters are installed properly and cover all openings.

ü  Lead based paints can make your filters hazardous. Before disposal, make a hazardous waste determination.

ü  If hazardous, manifest the filters offsite as a hazardous waste.

ü  If non-hazardous, dispose in the dumpster.

Shop towels

DO'S

ü  Use cloth towels which can be cleaned and reused.

ü  When possible, use less hazardous cleaning solvents (ones without chlorinated compounds).

ü  See if the laundry/recycling facility you use is meeting local sewer discharge limits.

ü  Laundries/recyclers that discharge their waste water to a drain field should be avoided.

ü  Keep waste shop towels in a closed container marked "CONTAMINATED SHOP TOWELS ONLY".

DON'TS

ü  Don't throw dirty towels into your dumpster.

ü  Don't saturate towels. If you do, wring them out and reuse the liquid.

ü  Try not to use disposable paper towels or rags.

ü  Don't dispose of solvents by pouring them into containers of used shop towels. 

Solvent tanks and other solvents

DO'S

ü  Consider using less hazardous solvents or switching to a spray cabinet parts washer that doesn't use solvent.

ü  Consider purchasing your own solvent still and recycling solvent onsite. (Sludges, filters and still bottoms generated from onsite solvent recycling are typically hazardous.)

ü  Make sure solvent is actually too dirty to use anymore before it is exchanged for new solvent.

ü  If you recycle onsite, keep a log of dates, recycled amounts and batch make-up amounts.

ü  Install a filter on your solvent sink to greatly increase the life of the solvent (but remember to dispose of the filters as a hazardous waste).

ü  If you have other solvents, keep them in separate, labeled containers.

DON'TS

ü  Don't dispose of spent solvents to drains, the air, or the ground.

ü  Don't mix solvents with any other waste and keep different types of solvents in separate, labeled, closed containers.

ü  Don't get solvents near used oil.

ü  Don't evaporate solvents as a means of disposal.

Spray cabinet wash water and sludge

DO'S

ü  If you're still using strictly solvents to clean parts, consider switching to a spray cabinet system.

ü  Determine through testing whether your spray cabinet wastes are hazardous.

ü  Skim off oil from spray cabinet wash water and put it in your used oil container.

ü  Close off any drains leading to storm sewers, dry wells, or septic systems.

DON'TS

ü  Don't dispose of spray cabinet wash water down any storm drain, septic system or dry well. This can lead to water contamination and liability problems for you.

ü  Don't put spray cabinet sludge into the dumpster or on the ground.

ü  Don't forget to accumulate spray cabinet sludge in sturdy, closed containers and dispose of as a hazardous waste if necessary.

ü  If any wash water enters the sewer, don't forget to get permission from your local sewer utility.

Spray cans

DO'S

ü  Use up an entire spray can before starting another.

ü  If a spray can malfunctions (for example, the tip breaks off), handle as hazardous waste or consider returning it to your supplier.

ü  Consider phasing out spray cans in your shop.

DON'TS

ü  Don't throw partially empty spray cans into the dumpster.

Sump sludges

DO'S

ü  Have the sludge tested when pumped out. Keep all records.

ü  If the sludge is a hazardous waste, send it to a hazardous waste management facility.

DON'TS

ü  Don't put hazardous sludge in the dumpster or on the ground.

ü  Don't use a septic tank pumping service to remove this sludge. There is no legal, environmentally safe way for these services to dispose of the waste if it is hazardous.

Transmission filters

DO'S

ü  Remove oil by draining for 24 hours.

ü  Keep drained filters in a container marked "USED TRANSMISSION FILTERS ONLY" and locate an oil filter recycler who will take them.

ü  Put oil drained from filters in your "USED OIL ONLY" container.

DON'TS

ü  Don't put un-drained filters in the dumpster.

ü  Don't put drained filters in the dumpster without first checking with your local landfill.

Transmission (and other crude-based) fluids

DO'S

ü  Manage used crude-based fluids like you do used oil.

DON'TS

ü  Don't ever dispose of these fluids to a storm drain, septic tank, dry well, sewer system, or dumpster.

ü  Don't accidentally contaminate your used oil container by mixing these fluids with even small amounts of brake cleaner, carb cleaner, or other wastes. This could turn the whole load into a hazardous waste.

Used oil

DO'S

ü  Keep used oil in a separate container marked "USED OIL ONLY".

ü  Place your container in a secure area and train your technicians to keep it secure.

ü  Make sure used oil is tested to be "on spec" if you receive (or give) oil for burning from another business.

ü  Keep records of used oil testing and shipments.

DON'TS

ü  Don't ever dispose of used oil to a storm drain, septic tank, dry well, sewer or dumpster.

ü  Don't accidentally contaminate used oil by mixing it with even small amounts of brake cleaner or carb cleaner. This could turn the whole load into a hazardous waste.

ü  Don't pour used oil on the ground, even for dust suppression.

ü  Don't mix used oil with incompatible wastes such as used antifreeze.

ü  Don't mix your used oil or "do-it-yourselfer" used oil with any other waste if you plan to burn it in your shop for heating.

Used oil filters

DO'S

ü  Remove oil by puncturing filter and draining for 24 hours.

ü  Keep drained filters in a separate container marked "USED OIL FILTERS ONLY". 4 Put oil drained from filters into your "USED OIL ONLY" container.

ü  Locate a used oil filter recycler who will take them.

DON'TS

ü  Don't put undrained filters in the dumpster. 8Don't put drained filters in the dumpster until you have checked with your local landfill.

Waste paint and paint solvents

DO'S

ü  Place all waste paint solvent in a drum labeled "WASTE PAINT SOLVENT".

ü  Make sure solvent is actually too dirty to use anymore before placing in waste container.

ü  Consider purchasing a spray gun cleaning unit. These units recirculate solvent, therefore, reducing the amount of solvent used and reducing the amount of waste solvent generated.

ü  Consider purchasing your own solvent still and recycling solvent onsite for re-use. (Still bottoms and sludges are hazardous waste.)

ü  Give excess paint to customers for use as touch-up paint rather than treating as a hazardous waste.

DON'TS

ü  Don't dispose of spent solvents to drains, the air or the ground.

ü  Don't mix paint and paint solvents with other waste.

ü  Don't evaporate solvents as a means of disposal.

ü Don't place sludges from solvent stills in the garbage.

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