Disposing Unused Antifreeze?


#1

We had a jug of antifreeze- about half full- form a small hole and leak out.



How can we dispose of this stuff? Used antifreeze is considered hazardous waste but I guess unused is not?



Thanks


#2

Antifreeze in any form is considered a hazardous material and is very poisonous. Dogs and other animals will lap the stuff up like mana, because of its sweet odor.

I’m lucky enough to be a few minutes from a facility that accepts used oil, antifreeze, oil filters, AND oil containers. If there isn’t such a place near you (perhaps by the local landfill?), most auto parts stores or shops will accept it for disposal.


#3

We’ve had this question often before. I run into trouble each time I respond but I’m sticking to my guns.

There is NO federal EPA regulation regarding the disposal of antifreeze. A few states may have such regulations but these are intended primarily for those shops that collect large quantities of it.

Since small quantities of antifreeze possess no environmental hazard and it is biodegradable, you may dispose of it safely by sprinkling it on your lawn or gravel driveway. You may do so with a clear conscience.


#4

It’s ethylene glycol. It’s a hazard to animals. Don’t dispose of it in the environment, no storm drains. You can, however, dispose of it the city sewer system. All waste water is processed, so dump it down a toilet or a sink. That’s the next best way if you can’t find a proper disposal facility.


#5

Well, you’d have a clear conscience until your pets and neighborhood animals die from ingesting the coolant. Call your local garage or repair facility and ask them what to do with it. It is hazardous waste, any advice to dump it on the lawn is bad advice.

And while dumping coolant might not be illegal in all states, cruelty to animals is, and that’s what you’d be charged with if you dump it on your lawn and animals die.


#6

There is NO federal EPA regulation regarding the disposal of antifreeze. A few states may have such regulations but these are intended primarily for those shops that collect large quantities of it.

I believe that is true, but the feds do have rules by which the states can and many if not all do regulate it.

It is also true that at least some states have regulations intended for large shops, but they also may well apply to individuals.  

Since the substance is harmful to animals and humans, it would be a very poor idea not to find a safe disposal method in your area.

I suggest asking at the location supplying your antifreeze and local authorities until you get a suitable answer.

#7

Antifreeze should only be disposed of by taking it to an autoparts shop or to a facility that specializes in disposal of hazardous waste. In my county, there are several sites designated for collection of motor oil, antifreeze, paint, insecticide, and other hazardous liquid materials several times a year, and it is amazing to see the lineup of cars each time that these collections are performed.

I believe that you will find that it is illegal in most areas to dispose of antifreeze in the sanitary sewer system, due to the nature of this substance.

Is wastewater treated? Yes, it is treated in order to reduce the hazards of the infectious agents that are in it. Waste water is not treated with the intention of neutralizing industrial chemicals, and in fact, disposal of industrial chemicals will frequently cause harm to the equipment that is used to treat waste water.

It is very naive (and dangerous) to assume that waste water treatment plants are set up to neutralize any substance that someone chooses to dump into a toilet.


#8

quote:

It’s ethylene glycol. It’s a hazard to animals.
Propylene glycol antifreeze is biodegradable and is much less toxic to pets, children, and wildlife.

AMSOIL (http://www.amsoil.com/storefront/ant.aspx)

SIERRA (http://www.sierraantifreeze.com/benefit.html), made by PEAK.


#9

Some communities have recycling programs for antifreeze. If you live where there is such a program, then recycle it. It’ll be rerefined eventually.

Many communities don’t recycle Ethylene Glycol and permit small quantities to be disposed of in the sewer system. That’s perfectly OK and responsible also. Pouring the stuff on the ground would be my last choice, but in some rural areas, it may be the only option. Unlike motor oil, antifreeze poured on the ground will not still be there years from now.

The stuff is toxic, mildly irritating, and – when not diluted with water – it’ll burn (albeit poorly). In mammals, Ethylene Glycol decomposes to Oxalic acid for which the body has very limited tolerance. (But it does have some tolerance – which is a good thing since many leafy vegetables contain some Oxalic acid).

Ethylene Glycol and its less common and less toxic cousin Propylene Glycol are biodegradable. They are not going to stay in the environment very long. The material data sheet says 1-10 days. You are surely not going to pollute aquifers with a gallon or two of antifreeze. Neither are you going to damage the local waste water treatment facility with DIY amounts of antifreeze. … Unless it is a very small facility like a septic tank.

The major concern is to protect small animals by doing something responsible about spills. Personally, I think washing them down with copious amounts of water to reduce the concentration to non-lethal levels is probably about as good an idea as any.


#10

[b]Check with your city.

Some allow the disposal of used anitfreeze down the drain. Mine does. The only thing they ask is that run water while pouring it down the drain to dilute it as much as possible.

If you have a septic system, don’t pour it down the drain. Ethylene glychol will kill off the micro-ogranisms that allows the septic system to work.

Tester[/b]


#11

As others have stated, some governments want it poured down the drain, others do not. Check with your sewer system if you have one.

I have my flame suit on. If someone’s pet comes into my yard and dies because it drank something, tough luck. Too bad the pet did not have a more responsible owner. The only toxicity issue I might worry about is for wild life or small children.


#12

No propylene glycol coolant meets auto manufacturer’s specifications.


#13

No propylene glycol coolant meets auto manufacturer’s specifications.
Do you have an Internet link for the above statement? Otherwise I’m not going to believe you.

A recent General Motors service bulletin states, “It is our conclusion that propylene glycol engine coolants will perform adequately under most vehicle operating conditions” and that “. . .propylene glycol engine coolant may be used in GM vehicles and will not affect the warranty coverage.”


#14

Whether it’s used or new, it’s still ethylene glycol and can be tossed down the drain or toilet. The bugs at the waste treatment facility will chew through this stuff in no time. Don’t put it in the yard or ground. it takes some rain/water to get it to seep into the ground.


#15

Whether it’s used or new, it’s still ethylene glycol and can be tossed down the drain or toilet.
Sorry pal, you are wrong. All antifreezes pick up heavy metal contamination during service. When contaminated (particularly with lead), any used antifreeze (whether ethylene or propylene) is considered hazardous.


#16

You can spray it on wood fences or decks, it kills mold and mildew and stops rot. It will restore the natural color to grey wood. It doesn’t give long term protection as it is water soluble.


#17

If the stuff met a manufacturer?s specifications it would say so on the jug and on the web site of the aftermarket coolant vendor.

Coolants are formulated by chemists and engineers to match the materials in the engines and associated components that contact the coolant. Maybe 30 years ago it used to be a one size fits all vehicles, but not any more. Does your OEM coolant contain phosphates, silicates, nitrites, benzoate, tolyltriazole , Molybdate, or borate? Why does it or does it not? What happens if you replace the coolant with something that does not?

I am willing to bet that in most cases the PG coolants are not certified to meet the manufacturers? requirements not because of the PG. It is because the rest of the formulation does not match.

The take-home message is that if you use coolant that does not meet the auto manufacturer?s specifications and your heater core blows out. You are probably out a few hundred to replace it. If you are post-warranty, you may cause a failure of the heater core, gaskets, water pump, radiator,?. If you use the wrong coolant.

Me, I will use coolant that the corrosion chemists and engineers say is O.K., and dump the more concentrated coolant down the drain as the local authorities suggest. I have tried to find a place to recycle it, with no success. The stuff that is very much diluted by flushing goes off the driveway. It is not practical to try to recover every molecule. I deal with chemical disposal issues all the time; you have to judge relative risks.

A web link to prove something? Assuming that you are not kidding:

Just for fun, Ford TSB Article No. 01-23-6 11/26/01 among other things says, no propylene glycol, and claims of toxicological and environmental advantages of propylene glycol over ethylene glycol may be misleading.

http://www.zx2racing.com/pages/articles/coolantFAQ.htm

Here are some more links as an introduction to the complexity of coolant chemistry in modern engines (engines and cooling systems are not just iron and copper/lead solder any more). Have fun:

http://www.vanagon.com/info/articles/coolants.html


#18

quote:

I am willing to bet that in most cases the PG coolants are not certified to meet the manufacturers? requirements …
Wow! I guess if you are willing to bet on it, it must be true.

quote:

A web link to prove something? Assuming that you are not kidding:
Just for fun, Ford TSB Article No. 01-23-6 11/26/01 among other things says, no propylene glycol, and claims of toxicological and environmental advantages of propylene glycol over ethylene glycol may be misleading.

No, I was not kidding, and you still have not supplied me with a web link. Just for fun, I brought up your link ZX2racing.com. It is not from Ford, and the word “propylene” was not found anywhere in the article. Also, (just for fun,) I checked the other links you mentioned. I did a search on the word “propylene.” The only two statements concerning propylene were:
“In the area of performance there is very little difference in EG and PG. Additives determine most performance criteria so all coolants supplied by a respectable manufacturer will perform well. The one major difference in EG and PG is toxicity.”

and

“Less common is propylene glycol (PG), which has been used for years in Switzerland owing to poison laws and is a recent entry in the U.S. market.”

Your links support me, not you.

Finally, you say:
quote:

Me, I will use coolant that the corrosion chemists and engineers say is O.K. and dump the more concentrated coolant down the drain as the local authorities suggest.
I am glad you don’t live in my neighborhood. Go foul your own nest.


#19

quote:

You can spray it [ethylene glycol] on wood fences or decks; it kills mold and mildew and stops rot.

It also kills any cats, squirrels, birds or other pets/wildlife that have the temerity to walk on your deck.

Have you met beadsandbeads? I can only hope the two of you are neighbors.


#20

um yes it is still hazardous unused, but even though illegal you should just dump it somewhere