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Comprehensive Procurement Guidelines for Vehicular Products

EPA designated the following vehicular products under the Comprehensive Procurement Guideline (CPG) program to promote the use of materials recovered from municipal solid waste (MSW). Recycled-content recommendations for each item are listed below.

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Engine Coolants

Recycled engine coolants, also known as antifreeze, might actually be purer than virgin coolant because the recycling process reduces the chlorides that come from hard water. Testing shows that, like new coolant, recycled coolant meets nationally recognized performance specifications established by the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) and the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE).

  • EPA recommends that procuring agencies whose vehicles are serviced by a motor pool or vehicle maintenance facility establish a program for engine coolant reclamation and reuse that consists of either reclaiming the spent engine coolants onsite for use in the agencies' vehicles or establishing a service contract for reclamation of the agencies' spent engine coolant for use in the agencies' vehicles.
  • EPA also recommends that procuring agencies request reclaimed engine coolant when having their vehicles serviced at commercial service centers. Additionally, EPA recommends that agencies purchase reclaimed engine coolant when making direct purchases of this item, such as when necessary to make up for losses due to leakage or spillage.
  • EPA does not recommend one type of engine coolant over another. EPA recommends, however, that procuring agencies purchase engine coolant containing only one base chemical, typically ethylene glycol or propylene glycol, to prevent the commingling of incompatible types of engine coolant.

For more information on EPA's product research on recycled engine coolant, please see the Technical Background Document for RMAN I.

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Rebuilt Vehicular Parts

Rebuilt vehicular parts are vehicle parts that have been re-manufactured, reusing parts in their original form. Rebuilt parts undergo an extensive re-manufacturing and testing process and must meet the same industry specifications for performance as new parts.

EPA recommends that procuring agencies whose vehicles (passenger vehicles as well as medium- and heavy-duty equipment, including trucks, cranes, off-road vehicles and military vehicles) are serviced by a motor pool or vehicle maintenance facility establish a service contract to require the use of rebuilt vehicular parts in the agencies' vehicles or establish a program for vehicular parts rebuilding and reuse consisting of either recovering a used vehicular part and rebuilding it, replacing it with a rebuilt part, or contracting to have the part replaced with a rebuilt part. This designation applies to vehicles served by both on-site and commercial facilities.

Product Specifications

To be labeled “rebuilt” or “remanufactured,” a part must be processed in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's (FTC) “Guides for the Rebuilt, Reconditioned and Other Used Automotive Parts Industry,” 16 CFR Part 20. Rebuilders must test each part for compliance with FTC specifications and correct defects as necessary.

For more information on EPA's product research on rebuilt vehicular parts, please see the Technical Background Document for RMAN IV.

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Re-Refined Lubricating Oil

Re-refined lubricating oils include engine lubrication oil, hydraulic fluids and gear oils. EPA's designation specifically excludes marine and aviation oils. The recycling of used oil has evolved from simply removing water, insolubles and dirt, to the more complicated removal of heavy metals, nitrogen, chlorine and oxygenated compounds. Today, re-refined lubricating oil is subject to the same stringent refining, compounding and performance standards as virgin oil for use in automotive, heavy-duty diesel, other internal combustion engines, hydraulic fluids and gear oils. In addition, extensive laboratory testing and field studies have concluded that re-refined oil is equivalent to virgin oil, passes all prescribed tests and can even outperform virgin oil. In fact, the three major U.S. automobile manufacturers now recognize that re-refined oil meets the performance criteria in their warranties.

EPA recommends that procuring agencies set their minimum re-refined oil content standard at the highest level of re-refined oil that they determine meets the statutory requirements of RCRA section 6002(c)(1), but no lower than 25 percent re-refined oil.

EPA recommends that procuring agencies review their procurement practices and eliminate those which would inhibit or preclude procurement of lubricating oils containing re-refined oil. For example, procuring agencies should review the practices of inviting bids and issuing contracts to do the following:

  • Supply a broad range of lubricating oil products on an "all or none" basis.
  • Supply lubricating oils for an excessively long period of time.
  • Deliver lubricating oils to geographic locations throughout the United States or to an excessively broad geographic area.
  • Supply excessively large contract quantities.

Product Specifications

There are different standards for re-used lubricating oils depending on the purpose of that oil.

Engine lubricating oils:The following links exit the site Exit

  • A-A-52039- Commercial Item Description, Lubricating Oil, Automotive Engine, API Service SG (replaced MIL-L-46152, Lubricating Oil, Internal Combustion Engine, Administrative Service). 
  • API Engine Service Category SF-1980 Gasoline Engine Warranty Maintenance Service (or current category).
  • A-A-52306- Commercial Item Description, Lubricating Oil, Heavy-Duty Diesel Engine (for wheeled vehicles only).
  • API Engine Service Category CC-Diesel Engine Service (or current category).
  • MIL-L-2104 Lubricating Oil, Internal Combustion Engine, Combat/Tactical Service.
  • API Engine Service Category CD-Diesel Engine Service (or current category).
  • MIL-L-21260D (or current version) - Lubricating Oil, Internal Combustion Engine, Preservative and Break-in.
  • MIL-L-46167C (or current version) - Lubricating Oil, Internal Combustion Engine, Arctic.

Hydraulic fluidsThe following links exit the site Exit

  • MIL-H-5606E (or current version) - Hydraulic Fluid, Petroleum Base, Aircraft, Missile, and Ordnance.
  • MIL-H-6083E (or current version) - Hydraulic Fluid, Petroleum Base, For Preservation and Operation.

Gear oilsThe following links exit the site Exit

  • MIL-L-2105D (or current version) - Lubricating Oil, Gear, Multipurpose.

Technical background information on re-refined oil was published in the Federal Register on February 17, 1989 (54 FR 24699) and codified at title 40 of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) part 247. This product designation was one of five incorporated in CPG I/RMAN I on May 1, 1995 (60 FR 21370-21386).

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Retread Tires

In most situations, retread tires can be driven under the same conditions and at the same speeds as new tires with no loss in safety or comfort. In fact, retread tires have been safely used on school buses, trucks, cars, fire engines, and other emergency vehicles for years. Retreading tires also helps conserve a valuable nonrenewable resource-oil. Every year, retreading saves more than 400 million gallons of oil in North America. Retread tires also help divert thousands of scrap tires from disposal each year.

EPA recommends that procuring agencies establish preference programs consisting of the following two components:

  • Procurement of tire retreading services for the agencies' used tire casings-EPA recommends that procuring agencies specify that tire repair and retread services must conform to Federal Specification ZZ-T-441H Exit (or current version).
  • Procurement of tires through competition between vendors of new tires and vendors of retread tires-EPA recommends that procuring agencies specify that retread tires must meet the requirements of Federal Specification ZZ-T-381 Exit, Tires, Pneumatic, Vehicular (Highway) (New and Retreaded).

Technical background information on retread tires was published in the Federal Register on Nov. 17, 1988 (53 FR 46558) and codified at 40 CFR part 247. This product designation was one of five incorporated in CPG I/RMAN I on May 1, 1995 (60 FR 21370-21386).

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