Recycling Thriller: Antifreeze

Antifreeze: Clever automobile homeowners have some saved within the storage to maintain their engines working correctly in excessive chilly (and scorching) circumstances. What if it’s been sitting there too lengthy? Are you able to recycle leftover antifreeze?

The excellent news is that antifreeze is recyclable.

What Is Antifreeze?

Antifreeze is a water-based additive that lowers the freezing level of the water in your engine and prevents boiling in excessive temperatures. That’s why you will have additionally heard it referred to as engine coolant, and why it’s essential on your automobile year-round.

Producers usually make antifreeze with both ethylene glycol or propylene glycol. The chemical base is important as a result of ethylene glycol is poisonous if ingested and propylene glycol is “typically acknowledged as secure” by the Food and Drug Administration in low doses. If in case you have curious little ones in your family, it’s a good suggestion to make use of propylene glycol (typically marketed as “unhazardous”) antifreeze as an alternative of ethylene glycol. That is particularly essential as a result of antifreeze typically has a candy style that draws youngsters and pets. (Editor’s observe: “Unhazardous” propylene glycol antifreeze can nonetheless be poisonous to kids and pets, so please retailer it out of attain.)

There are additionally quite a few colours of antifreeze — and the colour issues. The commonest shade is inexperienced, however when shopping for antifreeze, you wish to ensure you purchase the proper shade. Mixing colours may cause engine harm. Fortunately, the colour has no impact on the recycling market; it’s a dye that’s used for branding.

If in case you have your automobile serviced professionally, the mechanic probably tops off your coolant each time you alter your oil. But it surely’s additionally a good suggestion to have a bottle with you, particularly on lengthy street journeys or heading into winter climate.

How Is Antifreeze Recycled?

First off, do it’s essential recycle your antifreeze in any respect? If unopened, it would final indefinitely, and even as soon as opened it ought to last as long as eight years. Plus, good automobile upkeep means at all times retaining your coolant full.

Consider it or not, some cities will choose up antifreeze for recycling curbside. Nonetheless, this feature is uncommon, so test domestically. In case your native service does provide curbside antifreeze pickup, ensure you comply with the container necessities and don’t combine the antifreeze with another fluids.

Whereas many vehicle retailers settle for used motor oil (one other recyclable automobile fluid), no nationwide retail auto elements chains settle for antifreeze at each retailer. Verify the Earth911 database for native recycling choices. If it’s essential eliminate antifreeze (new or used), take it to your native family hazardous waste (HHW) program. A couple of essential suggestions:

  • Don’t combine antifreeze with different automotive fluids like brake fluid or transmission fluid. Maintain all liquids in separate containers.
  • Particularly on the West Coast, many communities function antifreeze, batteries, oil, and paint (ABOP) assortment services which are open extra typically than HHW packages. That’s as a result of ABOP are recyclable supplies, whereas different HHW gadgets (for instance, pesticides and cleaners) must be incinerated.
  • Many HHW areas function swap retailers the place you may pick-up free merchandise. It is a nice approach to get extra antifreeze.

Most used antifreeze is recycled into new coolant by filtering out any metals or oil and including new chemical substances. So, it’s possible you’ll be shopping for recycled antifreeze with out even understanding it.