Defense Logistics Agency Offers Re-refined Motor Oil
At a Glance
Resource conservation; hazardous waste minimization.
Not available online.
- Defense Supply Center Richmond (DSCR) staff
- Office of the Federal Environmental Executive
- EPA's Comprehensive Procurement Guidelines (CPG) program
Environmental Information Sources:
Sales of re-refined oil have increased from 8 percent in fiscal year (FY) 1997 to 16 percent in FY 98 and 25 percent in FY 1999. DSCR oil products meet or exceed the minimum 25 percent oil base stock required by CPG.
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Re-refined motor oil is now available from the Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) through two innovative contracts administered by the Defense Supply Center Richmond (DSCR). Developed over several years, these DLA procurement programs offer customers the option of purchasing various grades of re-refined motor oil, or closing the loop on motor oil use by having the vendor pick up their used oil in return for the re-refined oil. Through both contracts, DLA helps agencies meet the requirements of Executive Order 13101 and the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) to purchase products made from recovered materials.
DLA's Recovered Oil Programs
DSCR's re-refined oil availability is constantly expanding and today consists of two different programs. The first program is the basic re-refined motor oil program established in 1995. Under this program, customers around the world can order packaged re-refined oil products in lieu of virgin motor oil with no minimum order quantities. DSCR offers the re-refined oil in various weights and container sizes. SAE 5W-30 and 10W-30 engine oils are available in accordance with Commercial Item Description (CID) A-A-52039. SAE 30, 40, and 15W-40 engine oils are available in accordance with A-A-52306, and SAE 15W-40 engine oils are available in accordance with MIL-PRF-2104.
The second program is the Closed-Loop Re-refined Oil Program. This program, initiated in 1998 and available in the continental United States only, offers the delivery of packaged and bulk re-refined oil along with the pickup of used oil for re-refining. The cost of the delivery and pickup of the used oil is included in the price of the re-refined oil purchase. There are small minimum order requirements under this program. Like the basic re-refined oil program, DSCR offers the closed-loop re-refined oil in various weights and container sizes. SAE 10W-30 and 15W-40 grades are available in accordance with CIDs A-A-52039 and A-A-52306, respectively, and SAE 30, 40, and 15W-40 engine oils are available in accordance with MIL-PRF-2104. For non-DoD customers, SAE 15W-40 re-refined commercial heavy-duty oils also are available.
The re-refined oil products meet or exceed the minimum 25 percent re-refined oil base stock requirement of the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA's) Comprehensive Procurement Guidelines (CPG) with some formulations containing 100 percent re-refined oil base stock. All oils in both programs are American Petroleum Institute-certified, endorsed by engine manufacturers, and comparable in price to virgin oil products.
Purchasing re-refined engine oils under either of these programs will:
- Assist in the reduction of air pollution by re-refining the oil instead of disposing the oil through burning.
- Reduce the dependence on foreign oil.
- Meet manufacturers' warranty requirements.
- Provide easy ordering of quality products at competitive prices.
- Ensure fast delivery.
DSCR also provides their customers with technical, quality assurance, and packaging support; Material Safety Data Sheet information; and assistance with RCRA reporting requirements.
Oil purchases for re-refined oil have increased every year since the programs were established. According to DLA's records, sales of re-refined oil have increased from 8 percent of all comparable oil purchases in fiscal year (FY) 1997 to 16 percent in FY 1998 and to 25 percent in FY 1999. The re-refined closed loop program continues to expand due to the program's attractive advantages.
DSCR began to develop a re-refined oil program in the late 1980s in conjunction with the CPG. EPA's designation of re-refined oil in the CPG meant that federal agencies were required to purchase re-refined oil products as long as they met an agency's price, performance, and availability requirements. Initial challenges to developing the re-refined oil program included the lack of re-refined products which met military specifications, higher prices of re-refined oil compared to virgin products, and the perception that re-refined oil was inferior to virgin oil products. DSCR overcame these challenges in its development of a re-refined oil program for its customers.
The first step came with the implementation of new Military Services specifications allowing the use of virgin, re-refined, or a combination of virgin and re-refined base stocks for oil. Subsequent to these new specifications, two CIDs for engine oils were developed in order to offer products that would be commercially available and could be manufactured using virgin, re-refined, or a combination of virgin and re-refined base stocks. These two CIDs together with the new military specifications became the basis for the current re-refined closed-loop program.
With assistance from DLA headquarters, the Office of the Federal Environmental Executive, and other government agencies, DSCR awarded a contract in 1995 to provide re-refined oil for its customers. At the same time, automobile manufacturers had completed the testing of re-refined oil in their engines and had issued new warranty statements that allowed and even encouraged the use of re-refined oil. These advancements have helped DSCR's re-refined oil procurement program grow each year.
Perhaps the most important lesson learned from the development of the re-refined oil programs is that teamwork is the key in any successful program. Despite the perception that re-refined oil is not of the same quality as virgin oil products, DSCR's team of professionals worked diligently to prove this misperception false.
With the assistance of EPA, the Federal Environmental Executive, and other agencies, DSCR was able to develop two re-refined oil programs that meet customers' needs. DSCR has a dedicated staff of professionals who have worked for more than 10 years in the development and implementation of the two re-refined oil programs. DSCR's teams of technical, supply, procurement, and marketing personnel have created a program that has received praise from the highest levels of government. Evaluation of different viscosity grades and products continues with the hope that a larger selection of re-refined oils can be offered to customers in the future.
For more information about DLA's programs, contact Jim Fazzio at 804 279-4908 or visit the DSCR Web site.