Antifreeze Recycling Is A Must In Our Warming World
Antifreeze recycling has many benefits for both the environment and consumers. In fact, failing to comply with the correct disposal methods for antifreeze may actually result in fines and/or criminal charges. This is because the toxins in antifreeze are so high that it is often considered to be a hazardous waste and therefore, the disposal of it is heavily regulated.
The dangers of antifreeze
Antifreeze contains high levels of heavy metals, such as lead, chromium and cadmium. These heavy metals mean that antifreeze should never be disposed of down regular drainage, sewerage or septic systems.
It should also never be dumped on land. Antifreeze recycling prevents the chemicals from entering the soil and water. If the
chemicals enter the waterways it can lead to extreme problems, such as contamination which kills the wildlife and makes the water unfit for human consumption or irrigation purposes.
Another danger of antifreeze is that it is highly poisonous. It has a sweet smell and taste that animals and children are attracted to, but if it is consumed it will attack the central nervous system and result in death. Every year approximately 10,000 domestic pets (primarily cats and dogs) in the United States are victims of antifreeze poisoning.
Benefits of recycling antifreeze
Despite the obvious dangers of unsafe antifreeze disposal, the recycling rates for this hazardous product throughout the world are still disturbingly low.
More than 400 million gallons of concentrated antifreeze are sold globally each year. This concentrate is then diluted with 50% water to create 800 million gallons of usable antifreeze. It is estimated that between 25 and 50% of this is improperly discarded into the environment.
The recycling of antifreeze is a two-step process
First, the used antifreeze is collected and tested to have any contaminants removed. This usually occurs through filtration, distillation, ion exchange or reverse osmosis. The second step in antifreeze recycling is the restoration of the vital properties of antifreeze by adding more chemicals to the solution. This returns the recycled antifreeze to an effective product.
The clearest benefit of recycling antifreeze is that it is a safe method of disposing of the used product in a way that doesn’t release harmful toxins into the environment.
Secondary benefits are that purchasing recycled antifreeze is a lot cheaper than virgin antifreeze, and reusing antifreeze saves natural resources.
What's it made of?
The primary components of antifreeze are made from natural gas which is a non-renewable resource. Recycling antifreeze will prolong the availability of our limited supply of natural gas.
Antifreeze recycling is a very important step that all vehicle owners can take to reduce environmental damage, potential risks to human and animal health, and to save money. For further information about how to recycle antifreeze in your community, contact your local council or automotive garage.