Oil filters a little easier to dispose of in California

| Friday, October 15, 2004

A bill that would make it easier to dispose of used oil filters is now law in California.

Philip Vermeulen, a legislative advocate for the Independent Waste Oil Collectors and Transporters, said that previously, California law defined oil filters as household hazardous waste. That means, he said, they could either be recycled or placed in a landfill.

However, diesel fuel filters, which Vermeulen contends contain far fewer harmful substances than oil filters, were considered a hazardous waste and must be disposed of in a far more expensive manner.

“There’s no logic to it at all,” he said. “It costs $260 a barrel to dispose of diesel fuel filters vs. I think it’s $40 on average for a barrel of oil filters. It’s stupid.”

AB2254, introduced by Assemblyman Greg Aghazarian, R-Stockton, changes that by declaring diesel fuel filters to be household hazardous waste.

A spokeswoman for Aghazarian said the omission of the diesel filters seemed “almost like an oversight in the health and safety code.”

The bill received final Senate approval in July by a vote of 39-0; the Assembly gave its final OK to the measure in August, voting 77-0. It has now been signed by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and added to the state’s statutes.