Monday, April 27, 1998

Oil Filter Recycling is No Waste to ProCycle

In recent years, many companies have come to realize the environmental benefits of recycling used oil filters. As a result, a number of environmentally effective methods of processing these used oil filters have been developed, and thanks to John Barber III, there’s one more.

In 1992, Barber took an idea and a small oil recycling company and turned it into one of the largest oil related recyclers in the Southwest, capturing tons of steel from used oil filters each year.

This growth for ProCycle came in part because of an innovation in oil filter recycling by this creation from Barber. In 1992, he invented and patented a method of recycling all components of used commercial and industrial oil filters. Today, ProCycle recovers used oil filters from across the Southwest.

“I had been working in the oil recycling industry since 1988 and realized the potential for capturing much more of what had routinely been land filled,” said Barber.

In addition to his oil recycling background, Barber also had training in construction and engineering and put this knowledge to use in designing and oil filter recycling system that he registered as the “Pro-M-Cycle 1 Filter Recycling

ProCycle now has a fleet of trucks circulating throughout the Southwest, collecting used oil filters from a variety of commercial and industrial sources. The collected oil filters are then hauled to ProCycle’s 16,000 sq. ft. facility in Springtown, TX.

There, the oil filters are tested to make sure that they contain no hazardous wastes. Once inspected, the used oil filters then enter Barber’s patented thermal and mechanical process. The collected filers first enter a shredder, which breaks
them into tiny chunks and slices. The shredded filters then enter the thermal process, baking out any excess oil that was not caught through the initial draining. This oil is cleaned and collected for reuse. The steel portion of the oil filters is separated and stored for recycling. The pleated paper and other materials are reduced to an ash used in concrete making.

Each year, ProCycle recovers more than 2,000 tons of steel, along with more than 500,000 gallons of used oil from filters that were alleged to have already been drained of their contents. The collected steel is baled and sold to Gashman Metal or Chaparral Steel.

Clearly, used oil filters are a valuable source of scrap. The Pro-M-Cycle 1 process has proven itself a viable method to process filters for end market consumption.

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