California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle)

Used Oil Recycling Block Grant Program

Agricultural Program Information for Block Grantees

There are approximately 83,000 farms and ranches in California that range in size from a few to tens of thousands of acres. Most farming equipment, from tractors to pumps, uses lubricating oil and that oil must be managed properly after it is removed.

Many grantees have found that on some farms this is not being done. While incidents of deliberate releases of used oil are few, improper storage and management is a large and widespread problem, especially on smaller farms. The following gives some information on agricultural used oil programs that should help grantees get started on designing programs to fit the needs of their jurisdictions.

Block Grant funds can be used for implementation of agricultural used oil programs, including used oil and filter collection, if the grantee has identified a need and is already implementing a general used oil collection and education program. Grantees must be aware that an agricultural used oil program funded through the Block Grant must be filling a gap in service for growers in their jurisdictions, not replacing services already being paid for by growers. 

Grantees are encouraged to research their jurisdiction and assess the need for an agricultural used oil program. An agricultural used oil program can be as simple as an information piece developed, printed, and distributed to growers that reminds them to manage their oil properly if it is found that education is all the growers’ need. If greater need is apparent, a collection program is worth looking into.

Local agricultural used oil collection programs assist growers in properly managing their used oil and filters at no or low cost and without penalty for violation of Health & Safety Code storage statutes.

Self Haul

One option for collection is self-hauling by growers of up to 55 gallons at a time, in containers no larger than 55 gallons. Changes made to the Health & Safety Code (Section 25250.11) by Assembly Bill 470 (Sher) on January 1, 2002 allow the self-hauling of oil without first becoming a licensed hazardous waste hauler or completing a hazardous waste manifest if all four of the following conditions are met:

  1. The capacity of any single container does not exceed 55 gallons.
  2. Each shipment of used oil does not exceed 55 gallons.
  3. The person transporting the used oil has generated the used oil.
  4. The person transporting the used oil does not transport greater than 55 gallons of used oil, and does not transport any used oil in any container exceeding 55 gallons in capacity, without first contacting the destination location and verifying that the location will accept the used oil.

One of the reasons it is important to contact the oil collection center before transporting oil is that some collection centers only accept a maximum of 5 gallons of oil at a time.

On-Site Pickup

Another option for collection is on-site pickup of used oil and filters. Grantees hire a licensed used oil hauler to collect oil right on the farm. This could be done on a recurring basis like a curbside service for growers.  If ongoing pickup service is not feasible for your area, an alternative is a one-time pickup or "amnesty" type program to clear out large quantities of stored oil and filters. Then when this backlog is removed, growers are educated about proper used oil and filter management and given options to properly manage their oil themselves in the future.

These are just a few ideas that might help you begin designing an agricultural used oil program. Your grant manager can also help you determine if this is a priority for your jurisdiction. 

For More Information

For more information on farming in California and other relevant information the following web sites may be of interest.

Earth 911 Web Site. Select the Agricultural Oil link to find a list of current agricultural used oil collection sites in California.

California Farm Bureau. Every grower in the state has contact with this group in one way or another.  The farm bureau is a voluntary, nongovernmental, organization of farm and ranch families seeking solutions to the problems that affect their lives. They provide numerous types of information and assistance to growers and ranchers.

Louisiana State University Agricultural Center. This site has some best management practices information as well as some information on things to think about when designing a used oil collection program for the agricultural community.

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Last updated: October 28, 2010
Used Oil Grants,
Contact: (916) 341-5062