It won't come as a surprise that most automotive chemicals, even fresh off the shelf, are pretty poisonous. They also tend to be flammable and corrosive—and the time they spend at work in your car doesn't improve them. Oil, coolant, brake fluid, and battery acid all are chemicals a do-it-yourself mechanic might find the need to get rid of.
Proper disposal is part of doing the job right. Here are some suggestions on how to handle automotive waste.
- Don't mix materials. For example, don't put brake fluid in the same container as motor oil. Mixing can make recycling impossible.
- Put liquids in sealable, un-breakable containers and label them clearly.
- Don't store containers of waste in the sun. In fact, don't store them at all if you can help it; get them to a recycling collection point right away.
- See if a nearby service station or auto supply store accepts old motor oil, transmission fluid, and other waste. You can also get information on where to dispose of most of these things from your health department, environmental protection office, garbage company, and, in many areas, the Internet.
- When you buy chemicals such as brake fluid and oil, get only what you need at the moment. Once their containers are opened, they don't age gracefully. And buying them in quantity may create an extra disposal problem.
- Read labels and follow directions.