Used Oil Defined

Used oil is defined in the Utah Administrative Code Rule R315-15 Standards for the Management of Used Oil as “any oil that has been refined from crude oil, or any synthetic oil, that has been used and as a result of such use is contaminated by physical or chemical impurities.” The following are examples of used oil:

  • Compressor oils
  • Heat transfer fluids
  • Hydraulic fluids
  • Refrigeration oils
  • Synthetic oils
  • Transmission and brake fluids
  • Used lubricants

Used oil is typically contaminated or mixed with dirt, fine particles, water or chemicals, all of which affect the performance of the oil and eventually render it unusable. See Used Oil Specifications for more information. Used oil does not include products derived from vegetable or animal fats or petroleum distillates used as solvents. Antifreeze, cleaning agents, gasoline, jet and diesel fuels are not used oil. Used oil is not waste oil. Waste oil comes from oil wastes that have not been used, such as virgin fuel storage tank bottoms or virgin fuel spill clean up residue.

Origins of used oil

  • Air Conditioning Repair Facilities
  • Automotive Maintenance Facilities (see note below)
  • Electric Generating Stations
  • Household Do-It-Yourselfers
  • Manufacturing Companies
  • Mining and Smelter Operations
  • Plus Many Other Types of Businesses

Note: When you have an automotive maintenance facility change your oil for you, you probably are charged a small fee by the facility to get rid of your oil. The description of this fee on the invoice is variously referred to as a used oil disposal fee, an U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) fee, an environmental fee, etc. There is currently no state law requiring or authorizing this fee. A company may charge whatever fee it deems is appropriate. The company charges this fee to offset the costs it incurs from the transporter who comes to pick up this used oil.


Ted Sonnenburg (
(385) 499-0980

Last Updated:


Back to top