Garage hydraulic oil filter crusher

Crushing It

Used automobile oil filters have no chance now.

The F&S Garage services all F&S Car Pool vehicles, as well as F&S shop trucks, electric cars, garbage trucks, Zamboni machines, and almost anything else with an engine.

Inherent to servicing is the oil filter, an item that is regularly replaced. Once a filter has fulfilled its life cycle, these metal cylinders, sometimes about 12 inches long, are simply tossed in the landfill. The problem is two-fold: it’s big and clunky and it’s got remnants of used oil, both of which are bad for the physical environment.

Daphne Hulse, F&S zero waste coordinator, helped get the equipment purchased and installed. The tall gray machine operates simply with three buttons: up, down, and stop. Inside the tall gray rectangular housing, a large metal rod comes down and slowly pushes with 25 tons of pressure on the oil filters, crushing them into a hockey puck-sized object.

Compressing the filters like this removes about 95% of residual oil the crushed filter is then recycled through a third-party contractor, Mervis, and the oil is saved, too.

“Previously, all these oil filters would drain for 24 hours and then be landfilled,” Hulse said. “Approximately 1,500 oil filters per year were put into the landfill, and now we can divert 100% of them to recycling.”

The Student Sustainability Committee (SSC) funded the purchase of the crusher last fall before it was installed this spring.

“This is part of going green here at the Garage,” said transportation manager Shawn Patterson. “We had no means to remove all the residual oils inside, but now with the crusher, we can remove those oils and get them into a recycling container for re-purpose.”