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Best solution for waste oil & fluids storage / recycle in garage?

  1. #1
    xxaarraa
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    Best solution for waste oil & fluids storage / recycle in garage?


    I am tired of refilling drained fluids into the little bottles all the time, and now that I actually have a "shop" I'd like to setup a fluid recycling / storage system. Between car, truck and bikes, I go through a fair amount of fluids every year, and my ideal setup would be something like this:

    • Holds enough fluids for a year's worth of changes - so roughly 20-30 gallons?
    • I plan on getting a lift installed in the future for the cars, so ideally, a drum / reservoir that is on wheels so that I may just drag it to under the car on the lift and drain directly into it if needed
    • Something that's relatively easy to transport in back of pickup so that I can take it to autozone or somewhere once a year to recycle the oil.
    • Fairly air tight, so that it doesn't smell up the garage sitting there.


    Can you folks share what your setup is for fluids in your garage?

    EDIT: Something like this comes to mind, but I am curious to get feedback.

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    Last edited by xxaarraa; 06-14-17 at 09:59 AM.

  2. #2
    BMW track whore e30addict's Avatar
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    Re: Best solution for waste oil & fluids storage / recycle in garage?

    How do you plan on disposing the fluids? Most places only allow 5 gallons at a time for free.

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  3. #3
    Rookie Rada's Avatar
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    Re: Best solution for waste oil & fluids storage / recycle in garage?

    A drum top drain funnel on a drum is the tits. Then pump in to 5 gallon pails or gas cans to transport to waste oil place.

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  4. #4
    Lifer Kurlon's Avatar
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    Re: Best solution for waste oil & fluids storage / recycle in garage?

    I just use old 5 gallon race gas cans, but all my toys use far less oil / coolant than cars / trucks.

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  5. #5
    xxaarraa
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    Re: Best solution for waste oil & fluids storage / recycle in garage?

    Quote Originally Posted by e30addict View Post
    How do you plan on disposing the fluids? Most places only allow 5 gallons at a time for free.
    Geez, I did not know this. Dang.

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  6. #6
    Lifer loudbeard's Avatar
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    Re: Best solution for waste oil & fluids storage / recycle in garage?

    Call some of your local mechanic shops. Some of them, particularly the old school ones, have shop heating systems that burn used motor oil and they'll gladly take it.
    Also, figure on how you'll get a 20 gallon container of oil into the back of your truck, that's about 140 pounds plus the weight of the drum.

    Personally, I use a 10 quart plastic container. Bought for $6 at AutoZone, take it there and dump it for free when it's full.

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  7. #7
    Angry Gumball RandyO's Avatar
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    Re: Best solution for waste oil & fluids storage / recycle in garage?

    Quote Originally Posted by e30addict View Post
    How do you plan on disposing the fluids? Most places only allow 5 gallons at a time for free.
    you can always find a shop that burns waste oil that will take as much as you can give em, maybe even pay a nickle a gallon

    I would put it in a 35 gallon barrel that sits on a barrel dolly

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    RandyO
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  8. #8
    Backwoods lobster boy number9's Avatar
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    Re: Best solution for waste oil & fluids storage / recycle in garage?

    Geez, you have a shop now? Does it have a TV? When are we having a MotoGP-watching party?

    These are questions I'd like answered.

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  9. #9
    Lifer Falko's Avatar
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    Re: Best solution for waste oil & fluids storage / recycle in garage?

    I have a bunch of 55gal drums if that would help your cause. Problem with a large storage container, is that you fill it, then you have to empty it and unless you have an overhead crane or something, getting it into a truck is an issue. Personally, I have (4) 5 quart jugs that I fill and then take to the local auto parts store. We used to burn waste oil here, but the unit died and it really isn't worth the fix.
    Call your local DPW, they use waste oil a lot as well.

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    Resident Turkey Tricky Mike's Avatar
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    Re: Best solution for waste oil & fluids storage / recycle in garage?

    I use a 30 (35?) gallon drum on a dolly. It's easy enough to lift into a pickup truck bed with an extra set of hands.
    I only use it for clean waste oil. No Brake fluid, antifreeze, etc.
    When it's full (like now) I post it up on Craigslist and somebody is always willing to come get it for free.

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  11. #11
    Day late, dollar short carsick's Avatar
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    Re: Best solution for waste oil & fluids storage / recycle in garage?

    Quote Originally Posted by RandyO View Post
    maybe even pay a nickel a gallon
    I've been offered $1/gal from two other shops to buy mine.* Chocolate bars are also a dollar now, just to update you.


    *might be a premium because I have a constant supply of only engine oil/trans fluid that stays in sealed containers.

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    Awesomeness, Inc. MattR302's Avatar
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    Re: Best solution for waste oil & fluids storage / recycle in garage?

    Am I the only one that pours my waste oil back into the empty gallon jugs it comes in??
    Mark the jug and the cap as "WASTE" to not mix them up, then once they accumulate I take them to the transfer station.

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  13. #13
    Angry Gumball RandyO's Avatar
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    Re: Best solution for waste oil & fluids storage / recycle in garage?

    Quote Originally Posted by carsick View Post
    I've been offered $1/gal from two other shops to buy mine.* Chocolate bars are also a dollar now, just to update you.


    *might be a premium because I have a constant supply of only engine oil/trans fluid that stays in sealed containers.
    where do you buy yer candy bars I've been paying $1.29-$1.69 depending on the size
    I was trying to point out that you could not only easily get rid of waste oil, but you could get paid for it as well

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  14. #14
    xxaarraa
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    Re: Best solution for waste oil & fluids storage / recycle in garage?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tricky Mike View Post
    I use a 30 (35?) gallon drum on a dolly. It's easy enough to lift into a pickup truck bed with an extra set of hands.
    I only use it for clean waste oil. No Brake fluid, antifreeze, etc.
    When it's full (like now) I post it up on Craigslist and somebody is always willing to come get it for free.
    Are you serious?! So you give a drum away each time its full, that's not a bad price to pay for the convenience. I like this solution

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  15. #15
    Expert Agitator GearHd6's Avatar
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    Re: Best solution for waste oil & fluids storage / recycle in garage?

    My local transfer station takes it. I fill old metal 5 gallon containers from mineral spirits. Once a month or so I just bring them and dump them into their bulk container.

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  16. #16
    Lifer golden chicken's Avatar
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    Re: Best solution for waste oil & fluids storage / recycle in garage?

    20 gal. Portable Oil Lift Drain

    Best volume for the buck. Easy to empty with a compressor, ball valve to close off if you don't want the smells escaping. Have been using these at various workplaces for about 10 years now. Would recommend 100%.

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    Last edited by golden chicken; 06-14-17 at 06:28 PM.
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    Resident Turkey Tricky Mike's Avatar
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    Re: Best solution for waste oil & fluids storage / recycle in garage?

    Quote Originally Posted by xxaarraa View Post
    Are you serious?! So you give a drum away each time its full, that's not a bad price to pay for the convenience. I like this solution
    The last guy even brought my drum back empty a day later.

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  18. #18
    Burns retinas nhbubba's Avatar
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    Re: Best solution for waste oil & fluids storage / recycle in garage?

    I put my waste oil in empty 1 gal oil jugs.. rotella, of course.

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  19. #19
    xxaarraa
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    Re: Best solution for waste oil & fluids storage / recycle in garage?

    Quote Originally Posted by nhbubba View Post
    I put my waste oil in empty 1 gal oil jugs.. rotella, of course.
    Quote Originally Posted by MattR302 View Post
    Am I the only one that pours my waste oil back into the empty gallon jugs it comes in??
    Mark the jug and the cap as "WASTE" to not mix them up, then once they accumulate I take them to the transfer station.
    Precisely what I am trying to stop doing and avoid. It's a huge hassle to do that each time, never mind the spills and cleanup and I don't want 20 waste cans laying around getting mixed up with the 20 new cans of fresh oil. Not to mention keeping the the dirty funnel and clean funnel separate...

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  20. #20
    Changes come butcher bergs's Avatar
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    Re: Best solution for waste oil & fluids storage / recycle in garage?

    "Dirty" and "clean" funnels...?

    Just spray with brake cleaner between uses. Always stays clean and ready for various other fluids.

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  21. #21
    Burns retinas nhbubba's Avatar
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    Re: Best solution for waste oil & fluids storage / recycle in garage?

    Bit of shop rag. Bam! It's "clean "

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  22. #22
    xxaarraa
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    Re: Best solution for waste oil & fluids storage / recycle in garage?

    OK update on this. I decided to get the 20 gallon air-operated drain tank instead of the big 55 gallon drum. I wanted the ability to move it around the garage and/or driveway with relative ease, with an adjustable drain funnel, and the ability to pump out of it and fill smaller containers if necessary. The big drum with a dolly would have been cheaper, but I preferred a cleaner solution. I got what I linked in my OP from Harbor Freight ($135) and the damn thing is already a third full.

    I have to work out how to empty this from time to time and dispose of the oil. I'll call the local dump and auto shops and see what my options are. At the very least, I only have to refill little containers once a year or so instead of all the time and do it with an air pump instead of by hand.


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    Last edited by xxaarraa; 06-20-17 at 02:12 PM.

  23. #23
    Day late, dollar short carsick's Avatar
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    Re: Best solution for waste oil & fluids storage / recycle in garage?

    Attempting to empty that into a smaller container should definitely be A) avoided B) filmed. There is a regulator on the air inlet that brings it down to 15ish PSI, but I've still made a few unbelievable messes while filling 15 gal barrels. Nice fluid evacuator next to it though, those are great!

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  24. #24
    xxaarraa
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    Re: Best solution for waste oil & fluids storage / recycle in garage?

    Quote Originally Posted by carsick View Post
    Attempting to empty that into a smaller container should definitely be A) avoided B) filmed. There is a regulator on the air inlet that brings it down to 15ish PSI, but I've still made a few unbelievable messes while filling 15 gal barrels. Nice fluid evacuator next to it though, those are great!
    Not sure I follow. Why is it hard to pump fluid out?

    I love the mityvac. I almost exclusively do oil changes on cars/trucks with the mityvac these days. You always get 80-90% of the oil out, and no mess no crawling no stripping drain bolts bs. Plus I use it to evacuate other fluids too - diff fluids, t-case, old gas, you name it.

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    Last edited by xxaarraa; 06-20-17 at 02:45 PM.

  25. #25
    Day late, dollar short carsick's Avatar
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    Re: Best solution for waste oil & fluids storage / recycle in garage?

    Quote Originally Posted by xxaarraa View Post
    Not sure I follow. Why is it hard to pump fluid out?

    I love the mityvac. I almost exclusively do oil changes on cars/trucks with the mityvac these days. You always get 80-90% of the oil out, and no mess no crawling no stripping drain bolts bs. Plus I use it to evacuate other fluids too - diff fluids, t-case, old gas, you name it.
    It's very easy to pump fluid out, but hard to stop it once it's flowing with 15PSI behind it. I think a valve on the drain hose would be a great idea. Also when the oil empties the air blows some serious bubbles.

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