St. Croix EDC: Governor Doyle signs bill banning oil filters and absorbents from landfills


Bill Rubin/Jacki Bradham

St. Croix EDC


State Senator Sheila Harsdorf and Brian King of CRI Recycling (Woodville) Witness Signing

On December 2, 2009, Governor Jim Doyle signed Assembly Bill 258 into law. The bill prohibits the disposal of used automotive oil filters and materials that have been used to absorb spilled or used automotive engine oil from Wisconsin’s landfills. The ban will take effect in December 2010.

State Senator Sheila Harsdorf (10th Senate District) and Brian King, the president of CRI Recycling Service (Woodville, Wisconsin) witnessed Governor Doyle’s ceremonial signing of the bill.

“I am pleased that we are taking additional steps to prevent oil from entering our landfills and ultimately getting into our water supply,” said Senator Harsdorf. “I have worked on this legislation for years, and believe new technologies make recycling oil filters and absorbents easier and more convenient.”

“This bill makes sure that material like oil filters and oil soaked mats and pads are not a risk to our groundwater, but instead, will be recovered in a safe manner and returned to our economy as recycled products,” added Brian King. CRI Recycling is a pioneer in an oil and absorbent recycling service. The company’s patented solvent extraction process removes over 98% of typical total oil and grease and recycles over 99% of cleaning solvents.

King said Assembly Bill 258 has three primary outcomes – oil is taken out of Wisconsin’s water systems; the reclaimed oil is recycled, and given the world’s energy shortage, is an alternative source of energy; and metal from the oil filters is recovered and used elsewhere. King estimates his company recycles 80 gross tons of steel per month from filters and 15,000 gallons of oil.

A 2008 study conducted by the University of Wisconsin-Extension Solid and Hazardous Waste Education Center found that approximately 11.4 million oil filters were sold in Wisconsin in 2007. Only 19-21% of them were recycled, potentially resulting in 900,000 gallons of waste oil being sent to landfills. An estimated 54.6 million pounds of oil absorbent material were sold in Wisconsin in 2007, but only 2.9% of these were recycled.

“St Croix County is excited about the economic and environmental benefits locally and statewide with the passage of AB 258 into law,” states County Recycling Specialist, Jennifer Havens. The County expects to see growth in opportunities to recycle oil filters and absorbents and prevention of waste oil in landfills.