Have you considered investing in an oil filter crusher? I say investing because if you choose an appropriate model and you have a sufficient volume of filters to crush, you can dramatically reduce your disposal costs and possibly even earn money from recycling the scrap steel and the recovered oil.
You own an auto shop that collects around 560 used oil filters per month and you don’t own an oil filter crusher.
Your total monthly disposal costs for eight 55-gallon drums of uncrushed oil filters would be around $400-$600.
Net annual expense: $4,800-$7,200
Net 5-year expense: $24,000-$36,000
You purchase the Oberg Model P100WM automotive and light duty oil filter crusher that can crush up to five automotive filters per cycle. And since it’s cycle time is less than a minute, you could theoretically crush up to 250-300 filters per hour.
Even if we scale it back to say 200 filters per hour, you can easily crush 1,600 oil filters with 16 hours of effort. You can get approximately 260 crusher filters into a 55-gallon drum and it takes 16 of those 55-gallon drums to get a ton of recyclable steel.
In short, you should be able to crush enough filters during 16 hours of operation of the Oberg Model P100WM to produce a ton of recyclable steel.
Assuming you are paying around $10 per hour for the person who is operating the crusher, your operation cost should be less than $200 per month to crush all the oil filters. Of course, if you make the operation of the crusher part of a larger process, the actual time spent on the crushing, IE your cost of operation, will drop.
Assuming you can sell the crushed oil filters for $100 per ton, you’d still be $100 in the red.
However, you may be able sell the recaptured oil. Assuming that you can recover one gallon of used motor oil from every 50 filters that you crush, you’d get about 10 gallons of oil from the 520 filters you crushed.
If you were lucky, you might be able to sell the oil for $5-10. But, you’d still be losing $90 for the labor costs.
Even if you can’t sell the crushed filters or the oil, you’d be reducing the number of 55-gallon drums you’d fill to two. Thus your pick up costs would be greatly reduced.
Net annual expense: $1,200-$3,000
Net 5-year expense: $6,000-$15,000
So how exactly does the Oberg Oberg P100WM filter crusher pay for itself. Worst case, in the above scenario, the savings in disposal costs alone would pay for the crusher within the first 12-14 months of operation. And, over a five year period, it would pay for itself up to five times over.
Net annual savings: $3,600-$4,200
Net 5-year savings: $18,000-$21,000
(Note: For all calculations related to recycling fees, disposal and labor costs, I used the average of publicly stated market rates as of March 1st, 2020.)