Residents will now be helping the City to power the heating unit for a City of Knoxville facility when they take advantage of a free service to recycle used motor oil. Thanks to a $12,000 Used Oil Grant through the Tennessee Department of Environmental Conservation, the City of Knoxville Household Hazardous Waste (HHW) Facility installed the equipment this month.


City Public Service Department officials obtained the grant to purchase an oil heater that runs on used motor oil and to make upgrades for the collection process when receiving the used motor oil from the public.


“We are excited to explore and implement new technologies like this one,” said Rachel Butzler, the City’s new Solid Waste Manager. “We encourage responsible and sustainable ways to handle our waste stream.”


The heating unit will heat a three-bay garage at the City’s Elm Street location that houses Public Service equipment and work space. A new canopy and raised concrete pad will protect the used oil collection tank from rainwater and also prevent oil-contaminated runoff during rains. Additional absorbent pads and booms will help contain spills that occur as residents drop off and transfer the used motor oil.


Each year, the City of Knoxville recycles about 12,000 gallons of used motor oil from the public and City service vehicles through an off-site contractor. Re-using a portion of the oil on-site provides additional benefits of reduced heating costs to the City as well as reduced transportation costs of hauling the oil off-site.


The HHW facility also will collect and recycle used oil filters. In the past year, the Solid Waste Management Facility also began accepting carpet and carpet padding to be recycled.


The HHW Facility is open to City of Knoxville and Knox County residents to dispose of household hazardous materials free of charge while protecting both environmental and human health standards. The HHW Facility is housed at the Solid Waste Management Facility, 1033 Elm St. Operating hours are 7 a.m.-4 p.m. on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays; 7 a.m.-noon on Wednesdays; and 8 a.m.-noon Saturdays.