Who Manages Used Oil?

The following lists who manages and how they manage used oil.


Virtually everyone who performs maintenance on their personal vehicle or machinery is a used oil generator. Used oil generators fall into two categories — unregulated and regulated.


Do-It-Yourselfers (DIYers)1 are unregulated used oil generators and exempt from regulatory provisions that apply to regulated used oil generators, with the exception of:

  • Rules about prohibited practices
  • Rules about where to take used oil

Unregulated generators are required to take used oil to either a Do-It-Yourself (DIY) collection center, a household hazardous waste collection center, a used oil collection center, a used oil marketer, a used oil processor or a re-refiner.2


All other used oil generators are regulated and subject to the regulatory provisions for used oil management.3

Regulated used oil generators include, but aren't limited to, the following:

  • Automotive maintenance facilities
  • Manufacturing companies
  • Electric generating stations
  • Mining/smelter operations
  • Air conditioning repair facilities
  • Private organizations
  • School maintenance facilities
  • Municipal maintenance facilities


Anyone who collects or accepts used oil from regulated handlers of used oil (e.g., generators, other transporters, processors/re-refiners and burners) and transports that used oil to another facility is a used oil transporter or transfer facility and subject to regulation under statute. The following are not subject to used oil transporter requirements:

  • Regulated generators that self-transport up to 55 gallons of self-generated used oil to an off-site facility
  • On-site transportation by a regulated generator


Anyone who processes used oil by chemical or physical operations designed to make the used oil more amenable for production of fuel oils, lubricants or other used oil-derived products, is a used oil processor/re-refiner and subject to regulation under statute.


Anyone who markets used oil, or first claims that used oil meets the used oil fuel specifications, is a used oil marketer and subject to regulation under statute.


Anyone who burns used oil for energy recovery (e.g., an asphalt hot plant) is a used oil burner and subject to regulation under statute. Generators who burn self-generated used oil, or used oil from DIYers, in an on-site oil-fired space heater may be exempt from the used oil regulations provided:

  • They only burn used oil from household do-it-yourself used oil generators,
  • Their heater has a maximum capacity of not more than 0.5 million BTU per hour, and
  • The combustion gases from the heater are vented to the ambient air.

Note: While they may not be subject to used oil regulations, generators may still be subject to air quality permitting requirements.