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Recycle your used motor oil

October 13, 2008|By LEIF E. GREEN

There has been a lot of talk lately about renewable, clean energy sources, and about oil in particular. I've been very interested in learning what presidential candidates Sen. Barack Obama and Sen. John McCain think about the future of America's energy. So far, I haven't heard enough about the environment, though.

Maybe in the last debate they will touch on it; the candidates are scheduled to discuss domestic and economic policy.

In the meantime, I ran across this article in a newsletter sent out by Tim Abe with the Washington County Public Schools' Fairview Outdoor School Center. I thought it was very interesting.

The original facts were published by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Maybe you will be as surprised as I was to learn the impact of not recycling used motor oil.

"In 1994, 214 million gallons of oil were sold in California and of that, 122 million gallons of used oil were generated. About 75 million gallons of that used oil were recycled properly, which leaves 47 million gallons unaccounted for.

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"A quart of motor oil can pollute 250,000 gallons of water (or) 1 acre of land 1 inch deep. Americans throw away enough used motor oil every year to fill 120 supertankers.

"About 62 percent of all oil-related pollution in the U.S. is caused by improper disposal of used motor oil and is the single largest source of oil pollution (over 40 percent) in our nation's waterways."

Leif E. Green is the nom de plume of a columnist writing on behalf of the Boonsboro Recycling Task Force. Today's columnist is Kathy Vesely.

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