Doing nothing about floating waste oil?
At Oil Skimmers, Inc., we think our products are the best in the world at removing floating waste oil in industrial maintenance applications. We have a lot of reasons for saying that and sometime we’ll talk more about those reasons, but what never ceases to amaze me is the number of times we compete against the alternative of a customer “doing nothing” with their floating waste oil.
Doing nothing, that is, not skimming floating oil, can be an option for certain customers. So we are often in the position of educating the customer to the benefits of recovering waste oil versus letting it accumulate.
So, Why Should You Skim Oil?
There are several reasons why floating waste oil in an industrial environment should be skimmed.
At a minimum, for those that are dollar driven, generally speaking, “doing nothing” about floating oil is bad economics and can be an environmental risk.
Alternatively, skimming floating oil is a smart move for a lot of reasons: for example, it provides a better finished product and a better manufacturing process. In addition, skimming floating oil can result in an improved water treatment system at a reduced operating cost.
Below are the top five reasons why skimming floating waste oil makes good sense (and cents).
- Oil in disposed waste may lead to surcharges in municipal waste treatment expense. Not all communities can accept unlimited quantities of waste oil in the municipal system. Some communities hold their residents accountable for maximums regarding waste oil disposal. As tight as local budgets are in most communities, these days we don't think this is likely to change.
- Whether it's part of a municipal water treatment system, or the one in your shop, excess floating oil is tough on the water treatment system. For industries that treat their waste water in-house before recycling it or disposing of it:
- Oil can coat the measurement equipment (pH probes, temperature probes, etc.)
- Oil stresses pumps and filters
- And certainly excess oil will shorten the life of costly filter media
Related read >> How Can Oil Skimming Improve Your Wastewater Treatment Process?
- In addition, excess oil in the wastewater treatment process often requires more costly chemicals to deal with it properly downstream. Skimming the floating oil early in the process can reduce the cost of chemicals downstream in the treatment process.
- Skimmed oil has more value if you remove it early in the waste treatment process. The earlier in the process that you remove floating oil, the less it deteriorates and the more value it may have to potential buyers of "used" oil.
Skimming oil (especially with our Oil Skimmer's Inc. "Brill™" tube oil skimmer) results in skimming very little water. You end up with highly concentrated waste oil, versus a much larger volume of oil mixed with water, which is less valuable to the oil recycler and definitely more costly to haul away.
- Finally, skimming floating oil is an economical way to address environmental concerns.
Why? Besides a) reducing potential municipal surcharges; b) sparing your high capital wastewater treatment system from unnecessary abuse; c) reducing chemicals needed for water treatment downstream; and d) preserving the value of your waste oil by concentrating it (which others then charge less to remove, since they are removing more oil, less water, and in some cases may pay you to take away), it’s also better and safer for the environment because removing and recycling floating waste oil early in the process reduces the chances that the waste oil will find its way into runoff, rivers and landfills, and other places where it does not belong. Sometimes doing the “right thing” has both social value and economic value. It just makes sense (and of course, cents).