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Notes From the Road

At Your Disposal
By Mike Bumbeck/

Keep Your Cool
Automotive engine coolant, or antifreeze, contains either ethylene or propylene glycols. Both of these chemicals are toxic to animals and humans. These chemicals also taste sweet to pets and kids, who don't know not to drink poison. Draining the engine coolant is something that often needs to be done when servicing the cooling system or other parts of the engine. The absolute best way to recycle engine coolant is to pour it right back into the cooling system. Purchase a dedicated catch container similar to the one for oil. The containers come in different colors to prevent confusion. Test the coolant with a ball-type or similar tester. If the coolant checks out okay then it can go right back into the radiator filling neck after repairs have been completed.
Centers that recycle antifreeze are becoming more popular, but are not available everywhere. Check your local laws concerning recycling antifreeze to see if it is legal to dispose in the sewer system. Most municipal sewage treatment plants can usually break down the chemicals in antifreeze safely. Never pour antifreeze onto the ground, into a septic sewer system, or open sewer drain. The sewer pipe must go to a sewage treatment plant.
Across the Shelf
Along with oil and coolant, every fluid used by the modern automobile requires either recycling or special disposal. Disposal regulations vary by area, and these requirements vary according to the type of fluid. For this reason it is very important never to mix automotive fluids together prior to disposal. Brake fluid, for example, is flammable and poisonous. Putting any used brake fluid in a sealed and dedicated container until it can be properly disposed of is good practice.
The example of brake fluid is the same with the disposal of all automotive fluids. Keep each fluid separate and in a dedicated sealed container until it can be either recycled or disposed of. Consult local, state, and federal regulations regarding disposal of fluid. Contact your local waste management company for drop-off and recycling locations. Never dispose of any automotive fluids by dumping them on the ground, into a storm drain, or into a septic system. Responsible disposal and recycling of engine oil, coolant or other automotive fluids is just as important as regular automotive maintenance.
ExxonMobil and Recycling
Visit our Used Oil Recycling page for more information on ExxonMobil’s oil recycling initiatives.

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