California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle) 

Used Oil Recycling Rate Annual Report: 2005


This annual report presents 12 years of oil sales and recycling data, from 1994 through 2005. The information presented in Table 1 is based on quarterly reports of oil sales from manufacturers and used oil received by recycling facilities.

Oil is categorized by lubricating oil and industrial oil. Lubricating oil includes, but is not limited to, any oil intended for use in an internal combustion engine crankcase, transmission, gearbox, or differential in an automobile, bus, truck, vessel, plane, train, heavy equipment, or other machinery powered by an internal combustion engine (Public Resources Code [PRC] section 48618). Industrial oil includes, but is not limited to, any compressor, turbine, or bearing oil, hydraulic oil, metalworking oil, or refrigeration oil. Industrial oil does not include dielectric fluids (PRC section 48616).

The volume for used lubricating oil (ULO) recycled shown in Table 1 is a measure of the total volume of ULO received by used oil recycling facilities. Oil sales are based on oil reported by oil manufacturers or the entity that is first to take title to lubricating oil for sale, use, or transfer.

Table 1: Annual Oil Sales and Used Oil Recycling Rates (in millions of gallons)
  1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005
Lubricating Oil Sales 141.2 140.8 136.2 137.5 142.1 150.0 154.3 163.6 168.0 150.2 150.5 153.5
Industrial Oil Sales 78.0 117.3 140.9 141.7 152.4 176.4 155.7 149.1 147.1 135.8 144.6 123.1
Total Oil Sales* 219.2 258.1 277.1 279.5 294.5 326.4 310.0 312.7 315.1 286.0 295.0 276.6
Lubricating Oil Recycled** 59.9 54.6 56.8 60.9 73.6 76.9 80.0 81.9 83.1 83.7 87.0 91.3
Industrial Oil Recycled** 16.7 19.5 20.8 19.3 11.6 10.4 7.9 15.5 17.5 32.4 32.5 31.4
Total Oil Recycled 76.6 74.1 77.6 80.2 85.2 87.3 87.9 97.4 100.6 116.1 119.4 122.7

* The volumes for oil sales and used oil collections are revised as used oil recycling fees are collected or refunded. Sales totals for   lubricating oil are subject to change. Fees on oil sales and refunds for exempt lubricating oils may be reported up to one year after the initial sale.

** Figures include used oil collected in California and used oil sent outside of California.

Recycling Trends

The ULO recycling rate is based on the amount of lubrication oil recycled as a percentage of lubrication oil sales. Figure 1 shows ULO recycling rates from 1994 through 2005.

Lubrication oil sales. Figure 1 shows 2005 lubricating oil sales totaled 153.5 million gallons, a 2 percent increase from the 150.5 million gallons sold in 2004, but a decrease of 9 percent when compared to the 168 million gallons sold in 2002. Considering oil sales as a leading indicator of used oil disposal, the amount of used oil recycled for 2006 should be slightly higher than 2005. The volumes for oil sales and ULO collections are revised as staff learns of inaccuracies from audits, discussions with reporting entities, and refunds for exemptions. For example, sales reports may be revised, as additional sales are reported or refunds for exempt lubricating oils are completed.

ULO recycling rate. Table 1 shows that 91.3 million gallons of ULO were recycled during 2005, which was 5 percent above the 87.0 million gallons collected in 2004. The ULO recycling rate for 2005 was 59.5 percent, which is a 3 percent increase when compared to ULO recycled in 2004. The lubricating oil recycling rate does not account for oil burned off or spilled during use, which is estimated to range from 20 to 40 percent.

Figure 1: Amount of Lubricating Oil Recycled as a Percentage of Sales, 1994-2005 (Calendar Years)

Bar chart showing collection data also presented in table above.

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Last updated: December 13, 2006
Used Oil Recycling Program,
Contact: (916) 341-6457