A Change For The Better

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When you drive into Hoffman's near Albany, New York, for an oil change and a car wash, you're doing a favor for your car, a good turn for the environment, and you are supporting a growing business. Tom Hoffman Sr. is using the oil that he drains from your crankcase to heat the water for your car wash.

The use of recycled oil is on the rise across the country. Hoffman says that it costs up to six cents a gallon to have the used oil hauled away, and tightened environmental regulations mean station owners must monitor the disposal. Alternatively, a fuel-recycling system filters out the impurities in the dirty oil so that it can be reused on the site to heat buildings as well as water. In this way, station owners can simultaneously eliminate waste hauling expenses and create a cheap fuel source.

Hoffman recently installed a new fuel-recycling system for $26,000 at one of his oil change and car wash stations. As a result, he is saving nearly $3,000 a month on his fuel bill which means the system will quickly pay for itself. His plans for next year call for adding oil-changing facilities with fuel-recycling systems to three more of his car washes.

Albany Times Union
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Linda is responsible for the PERC web sites, media relations, the national journalism conference, and the media fellows program. She is author of Forest Fires, part of a series of  environmental education books for high school students. She also wrote and produced Square One, a newsletter that introduced grassroots environmentalists to market...
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