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This morning I stopped by a Jiffy Lube with a couple gallons of waste oil, as I had just changed the oil in my car over the weekend and I had dropped this sort of thing off at this location in years past with no issue. I was surprised this time when the attendant curtly explained that they do not accept waste oil. My grumbles that I had come there many times in years past were to no avail.

So I stopped by a nearby Valvoline oil change shop, and they accepted the waste oil. The attendant there also explained that in Wisconsin any business which sells oil is required to accept waste oil. I found this pleasantly surprising, but wanted to verify it myself. I've been searching through the Wisconsin State Statutes but haven't found anything to confirm this. The closest thing I could find was 2009 Wisconsin Act 86, but that talks more about requirements on consumers for proper disposal - not requirements on businesses.

Is what the Valvoline guy said a real law? Perhaps a federal law? Or is it just an old wives' tale?

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Wisconsin requires retailers of automotive oil to either accept household "do-it-yourself" used oil or post a sign at the location of sale indicating the location and hours of operation of the nearest DIY used oil collection center.

The applicable statutes are 287.15 (2)(a):

(2) Waste Oil Collection

(a) Retail Sales Establishment. A retail sales establishment:
  1. Shall maintain an engine waste oil collection facility for the temporary storage of engine waste oil returned by consumers and post at least one sign at the location of sale which contains wording similar to: “Engine waste oil collection facility. Please return your waste oil here."; or

  2. Shall post at least one sign at the location of sale which contains wording similar to: “Engine waste oil can be recycled. Please return your waste oil to a waste oil storage facility. The nearest waste oil storage facility is located .... and is open ....". The sign shall describe the location and the days and hours of operation.

So the Valvoline guy was partially right, they do need to accept it or post a sign indicating where you can recycle it. The Jiffy Lube would have been within its rights to deny the acceptance of the old oil provided that they had a sign posted with the nearest facility and its hours. If that isn't the case, they would be in violation of the aforementioned statute.

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    Seeing as they didn't have a sign, any idea what agency I would report that to? – soapergem May 15 '18 at 18:20
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    I'm not entirely sure, but the legislation falls under the DNR, this document has some contact information with regards to the program, try there first (last page on the bottom left). – Ron Beyer May 15 '18 at 18:23
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    Because Jiffy Lube doesn't do retail sale of oil in bottles to DIY oil changers. Perhaps Valvoline does. – Harper May 15 '18 at 18:51
  • @Harper - the statute doesn't technically say anything about whether it's sold in bottles, who it's sold to, or under what qualifying circumstances it's sold. What it does say is this: "Retails sales establishment means a person who is engaged in the business of selling automotive engine oil to consumers." My reading of that would be that if you sell automotive oil in any capacity - even bundled as part of an "oil change" - your business is subject to this statute. – soapergem May 15 '18 at 22:16
  • @SoaperGEM Read the next definition (1)(j), "Service establishment". It is clear that Jiffy Lube is a service establishment, which implies it is not a "Retail sales establishment". Therefore, it appears that Jiffy Lube is not subject to the statue. – user71659 May 16 '18 at 1:34

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