By maintaining your car properly you can prevent oil leaks, heavy metals and toxic materials from traveling from your car onto the street. Rain washes oil and other hazardous chemicals from the street into the nearest storm drain, ultimately draining into the Chesapeake Bay Watershed, the source of drinking water for many. Just imagine the number of cars in our region and the amount of oil that finds its way into our local waterways! Please follow proper vehicle maintenance.
Maintaining your Vehicle
- Maintain your car and always recycle used motor oil.
- Check your car or truck for drips and oil leaks regularly and fix them properly. Keep your vehicle tuned to reduce oil use.
- Use ground cloths or drip pans under your vehicle if you have leaks or if you are doing engine work. Clean up spills immediately and properly dispose of clean up materials.
- Collect all used oil in containers with tight-fitting lids. Old plastic jugs are excellent for this purpose.
- Recycle used motor oil. Many auto supply stores, car care centers and gas stations will accept used oil. Do not pour liquid waste down floor drains, sinks or storm drains.
- Do not mix waste oil with gasoline, solvents or other engine fluids. This contaminates the oil which may be reused, increases volume of the waste and may form a more hazardous chemical.
- Never dump motor oil, antifreeze, transmission fluid or other engine fluids into road gutters, down the storm drain or catch basin, onto the ground or into a ditch.
- Many communities have hazardous waste collection days where used oil can be brought in for proper disposal. Find out about your program. Recycling just one gallon of used oil can generate enough electricity to run the average household for almost 24 hours.
- Try to use drain mats to cover drains in case of a spill.
- Store cracked batteries in leak proof secondary containers.