In this article, we are going to discuss what is the best RV antifreeze disposal option, and how to recycle both RV and automotive antifreeze. We also explain the differences between the two.
RV antifreeze disposal places near you
If you are looking for RV antifreeze disposal places, you are in the right place. As you probably know RV antifreeze is not toxic, this doesn’t mean that you can throw it away in any place, you still have the responsibility to dispose of it properly. This being said, these are the most common options for RV antifreeze disposal:
- Call your local wastewater treatment office and tell them how much used antifreeze you have for disposal. Inform if the antifreeze is made of ethylene glycol or propylene glycol.
- If you only have a couple of quarts, it may be possible for you to pour down a home drain and rinse with plenty of water.
- Contact auto repair shops or used oil collection stations in your area and ask about what antifreeze used to dispose of.
- Call any waste disposal or recycling companies in your area and ask about disposing of large amounts, such as those from a commercial operation, of antifreeze.
A few tips & warnings:
- Check the antifreeze on the labelled bottle to see if it is made from propylene or ethylene glycol.
- Collection centres may charge a small fee to dispose of your used antifreeze.
- Immediately wipe up any antifreeze spills due to ingesting pets or children.
Should I recycle or dispose of automotive antifreeze?
If you’ve ever stopped on your way wondering what to do with that bucket of fluorescent green fluid that just drains out of your car’s radiator, you know the dilemma. Recycling sounds good, but the place bought does not want to return. You’ve heard you can dump into the sewer, but that somehow seems wrong. Of all the fluids that enter or leave a car, antifreeze is possibly the most abused.
More automotive antifreeze is made from ethylene glycol. Material Safety Data Sheets vary in the ecological impact of ethylene glycol antifreeze, but not in its toxicity. As little as half a cup can be a lethal dose. Smaller amounts can cause serious heart, kidney, liver, and lung problems. Ingestion during pregnancy can cause birth defects.
Less toxic formulations using propylene glycol are available, but less toxic does not mean non-toxic. Used antifreeze is also frequently contaminated with heavy metals and other substances from its harsh life in an internal combustion engine.
According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), used antifreeze contains high enough levels of heavy metals like lead, cadmium and chromium to make it potentially hazardous waste. Most states regulate antifreeze disposal and have made it illegal to dump it on the ground or into sewers, drains or anywhere else it could contaminate the water supply and poisons people, pets, and wildlife.
Many oil changes and workshops will carry used antifreeze, as it is clearly antifreeze and not a mixture of fluids. Just don’t abuse the service by leaving it after hours. Depending on where you live, your options may be more limited in terms of household waste collection sites.
Most larger cities now have several facilities in reasonably convenient locations that are open during normal business hours. Smaller cities may have only one or two. Some places only offer a “drive-by” collection once a year.
RV antifreeze vs Car antifreeze
There are major differences between RV antifreeze and car antifreeze. Please do not swap or mix them, as it can cause serious damage to the engine of your vehicle.
RV antifreeze is usually sold at discount stores or RV dealerships, but it is also found at hardware stores or auto parts stores. It is usually pink in colour and can be made up of ethanol or propylene glycol, or a mixture of both.
RV antifreeze is not toxic, although you don’t want to ingest large amounts of it. Propylene glycol antifreeze is generally preferred for other mixes, as it is less likely to leave a taste or odour in RV plumbing systems when used as directed.
Automotive antifreeze is generally made up of ethylene glycol or propylene glycol, along with other chemicals. Automotive antifreeze formulas differ based on their colour, as this makes it easy to tell which type is being used.
Each vehicle manufacturer has its own requirements for antifreeze. Automotive antifreeze is highly toxic and can kill people or pets if swallowed, even in relatively small amounts.
The colours that we can find in antifreeze are usually green, orange, yellow, blue or pink, each colour representing their efficiency level. It should be noted that the freezing temperature will be related to the amount of ethylene glycol (antifreeze) that it incorporates.
An antifreeze with 10% ethylene glycol establishes that the temperature for which it can be used ranges from -4ºC to 102ºC and if the concentration is 25%, the temperatures for use range from -12.5ºC to 103ºC. The maximum level of ethylene glycol concentration is 50% and can act between -37ºC and 108ºC.
Currently, there are G11, G12, G12 +, G12 ++ and G13 antifreeze, but when choosing the antifreeze, we do not have to base ourselves on which is the best, but which is the most suitable for our engine and environmental conditions wherever it goes. to circulate the vehicle.
Both in the expansion tank and in the vehicle book, the type of antifreeze that the engine incorporates is specified so as not to make mistakes. We always have to use antifreeze of the same brand and with the same characteristics, but if this is not possible, we must remember that we cannot mix organic and inorganic antifreeze or either of these two with a hybrid one.
If we mix antifreeze from different sources, we can cause problems in the refrigeration circuit, even if it is only to fill or add to complete the expansion tank level. Regarding the antifreeze G11, G12, G12 +, G12 ++ and G13, only G12 ++ and G13 can be mixed, therefore, G11, G12, G12 +, must be used without mixing them with any and only with another of the characteristics.
The bottom line
It is not always easy to be green. If you pour a gallon of antifreeze down the drain, it is unlikely that the police will come knocking on your door. But the fact is, it is illegal in many places and bad for the environment around the world. Responsible people dispose of antifreeze properly. As for the EPA, it means taking to a collection facility for recycling.
Please let us know where you dispose of your car or RV antifreeze, or if you have any questions about the content!
FAQ about RV antifreeze disposal
Will RV antifreeze kill grass?
RV antifreeze will not kill grass, as it is not toxic. However, it is best not to dispose of RV antifreeze by pouring it in your backyard! Responsible people dispose of antifreeze properly.
What do the antifreeze colours mean?
The antifreeze colours do not necessarily say anything about the quality of the antifreeze or its ingredients, but rather indicate different standards and technologies.
For example, G48 and G11 contain a silicate and the liquid is usually blue and/or green. G12 antifreeze, on the other hand, glows pink or red, while those with G12 +, G12 ++, G30, and G40 have a purple tint. Finally, G13 is composed of a distinctly purple liquid.
Is it allowed to mix antifreeze?
No, you should never mix different types of antifreeze, even if they are the same colour. The reason for this is that certain mixtures can produce aggressive acids. Radiator antifreeze also contains additives to prevent corrosion. If different types of antifreeze are mixed, their effect can be impaired, so the protection of the cooling system is no longer guaranteed.
Therefore, it is better to use a single product, mix it with distilled water and, if necessary, consult an expert who can guarantee the safety of mixtures, as is the case with G13 purple radiator antifreeze with other products, for example.