Waste Management Program fact sheet
Division of Environmental Quality Director: Kyra Moore

Used Oil

Used oil is defined as petroleum-derived and synthetic oils which have been spilled into the environment or used for (1) lubrication/cutting oil; (2) heat transfer; (3) hydraulic power; or (4) insulation in dielectric transformers. The definition of used oil excludes used petroleum-derived or synthetic oils which have been used as solvents. (Note: Used ethylene glycol is not regulated as used oil under 10 CSR 25.)

The improper disposal of used oil causes needless damage to ground and surface water and wastes a valuable renewable resource, making us more dependent on imported oil. The Missouri Department of Natural Resources has adopted and amended federal regulations for used oil that provide strong safeguards against potential types of mishandling that may occur. The management standards cover all segments of the used oil recycling system. While generators are the largest segment of this industry, the most stringent standards apply to used oil processors and rerefiners because they handle the largest quantities of used oil. The standards are designed to encourage recycling while protecting human health and the environment.

This fact sheet describes the management standards for used oil generators and burners under 10 CSR 25-11.279, which became effective on Aug. 28, 1994.


A generator is any business that produces used oil through commercial or industrial operations, or that collects it from these operations or from private households and exempted farmers. Householders who change their own oil (do-it-yourselfers) are not covered by the used oil regulation.

Farmers who generate an average of 25 gallons or less of used oil per month from farm vehicles or machinery in a calendar year are also exempt. Generators are no longer required to register with the department prior to shipping used oil.

Off-Specification Used Oil Burners

A used oil burner is a facility where used oil not meeting the specification requirements is burned for energy recovery in an industrial furnace, boiler or hazardous waste incinerator.

Management Standards

Used oil generators must comply with the following standards:

  • Keep storage tanks and containers in good condition and labeled “used oil.
  • Keep tanks and containers that are exposed to rainfall closed except when adding or removing used oil.
  • Clean up any used-oil spills or leaks to the environment.
  • Use a transporter with a Missouri Hazardous Waste Transporter License and a U.S. Environmental Protection. Agency (EPA) generator identification number.
  • Burners of off-specification used oil must:
  • Obtain a generator identification number from EPA and notify them of the used oil activities.
  • Keep storage tanks and containers in good condition and labeled “used oil”.
  • Keep tanks and containers that are exposed to rainfall closed at all times, except when adding or removing used oil.
  • Clean up used oil spills or leaks to the environment.
  • Store used oil in areas with oil-impervious floors..
  • Provide secondary containment of equal to or greater than 10 percent of the containerized volume or the volume of the largest container, whichever is greater.
  • Track incoming and outgoing used oil shipments.
  • Determine the total halogen content of used oil managed at the facility.
  • Keep a copy of the Transporter’s Used Oil Shipment Record.
  • Provide to the generator, transporter, or processor or refiner a one-time written certification that the EPA has been notified of the burner’s used oil activities, and that the used oil will be burned in an industrial furnace or. boiler.
  • Properly manage residues from storage or burning of used oil.


Generators should not mix used oil with hazardous waste. Mixtures of used oil and hazardous waste are hazardous waste. The only allowed mixing is mixtures of used oil with characteristic ignitable hazardous waste and listed hazardous waste which is listed solely because it is ignitable. The resultant mixture must not exhibit the characteristic of ignitability.

Conditionally exempt small quantity generators (CESQG) of hazardous waste are allowed to mix their ignitable hazardous waste with used oil and manage the mixture as used oil.


Generators are allowed to self-transport up to 55 gallons of used oil to approved collection centers or to aggregation points owned by the same generator, so long as they use their own vehicle or an employee’s vehicle to self-transport the used oil.

Space Heaters

Generators may burn their own used oil, as well as used oil received from household do-it-yourselfers and exempt farmers, in used oil-fired space heaters which have a design capacity of not more than 0.5 million Btu per hour and are vented to the ambient air. The department is no longer requiring resource recovery certification for this activity.

On-site Treatment 

The following activities are not considered processing so long as the used oil is generated onsite and is not sent to an off-site used oil burner:

  • Filtering, cleaning, or reconditioning for the generator’s re-use.
  • Separating used oil from wastewater to allow wastewater discharge or re-use.
  • Using oil mist collectors to make plant air suitable for re-circulation.
  • Removing excessive oil from oily waste.
  • Filtering, separating, or reconditioning used oil for use in an on-site space heater.

Additional Information

Used Oil Contaminated Waste - PUB153
Used Oil Collection Centers and Aggregation Points - PUB136
Used Oil Transporters - PUB132
Used Oil Generators and Burners - PUB134
Used Oil Processors, Re-refiners and Marketers - PUB154
Licensed Hazardous and Infectious Waste Transporter List

Nothing in this document may be used to implement any enforcement action or levy any penalty unless promulgated by rule under chapter 536 or authorized by statute.

For more information