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Oil spill cleanup - Construction dumpster or spill cleanup?

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If I have a small oil spill, can I do the spill cleanup myself and put the absorbant material into a construction dumpster, or do I have to call a hazardous waste company like Clean Harbors Safety Kleen or Waste Management and contract with them for oil spill cleanup?

Is there a limit to the amount that I can clean up myself? Obviously, if I spill a drop on my driveway, I can wipe it up with a Kleenex and toss it away. But what about a quart? What about a gallon? More?

My town brings all of it's trash to an incinerator - wouldn't that be a good way to get rid of an oil spill, by burning it in an environmentally friendly incinerator? Wouldn't it help the incinerator by providing some nice fuel?

At what point do I have to contact the Department of Environmental Protection?
Good question...
Usually 5 gallons is the minimum to be called a 'spill'. Use an absorbent material like speedy dri (which looks like kitty litter) to soak up the bulk of the mess. Do not touch the oil if it home heating oil. Do open the area to the fresh air if it is in the basement. Home heating oil is not explosive but IS combustable. Do not use water to try to clean up, it will only spread it out more.

The fire department is supposed to be notified and if you think the grounwater is affected then the department of enviromental protection would need to be notified as well.

Call your local Public Works department to see where to get rid of the contaminated absorbent materials.
The contaminated absorbent material, whatever you used, is considered hazardous waste and should be taken to a local collection yard. These are typically held a few times a year and a notice is sent out to all households. You can call and make an appointment or ask what to do.


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