N.C. Division of Pollution Prevention and Environmental Assistance
Re-refined Oil

Who Uses Re-refined Oil?

Government and major fleet manufacturers use re-refined oil and report no difference in its performance from virgin petroleum products. These users include such businesses or agencies as Coca-Cola, UPS, U.S. Postal Service, Frito-Lay, the National Park Service and Mercedes-Benz.  Jiffy Lube has begun offering re-refined oil at its stores in Minnesota, Nebraska, Iowa, Washington and California. Wal-Mart also offers motorists re-refined oil at its lube centers.  Mercedes-Benz puts re-refined oil into all of its new vehicles.  In North Carolina, more and more users are switching to re-refined oil, including the Marine Corps Air Station at Cherry Point, the State of North Carolina’s Motor Fleet Management and Moore County.  Review several state agency users' comments about their experience with re-refined oil. 

The federal government leads in the purchase and use of re-refined oil.  The USPS and  Department of Defense (DOD) have been the federal leaders in purchasing re-refined motor oil. In 1994, the Post Office  used approximately 500,000 gallons of re-refined oil in 105,600 vehicles nationwide.  The Department of Defense has moved from 8.6 percent re-refined usage in FY97 to 38.4 percent in FY00. 

California is one of the leaders in purchasing re-refined oil to close the recycling loop. The California State Department of General Services annually purchases 200,000 gallons of re-refined oil. Many cities -  including San Francisco, Palo Alto, Davis and other California municipalities  - purchase re-refined oil for use in their fleet vehicles. 

In Snohomish County, Wash., in one year, six private sectors and 20 public sector vehicle fleets switched to re-refined oil. The county has used more than 30,000 gallons of re-refined oil in all its 1,242 unit fleets. After conducting roughly 3,000 oil analyses, Snohomish County documented that re-refined oil was substantially equivalent to virgin oil. Also, last year King County Metro Transit Agency in Seattle, Wash., switched to re-refined oil purchasing 80,000 gallons and experiencing no problems.

Re-refining oil to base lube oil is more energy efficient and environmentally beneficial because it works to conserve natural resources by reusing oil that otherwise might be burned or disposed of improperly. This works to reduce air, ground and water pollution and helps to reduce the amount of new crude oil that must be discovered, produced and refined. 

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