Minnesota Department of Transportation

511 Travel Info

Regulated Materials

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Management of Used Oil Tank Sludge in Lube Cubes

This guidance document is prepared by MnDOT personnel and is intended only for use on MnDOT projects, including partnership projects, and MnDOT Maintenance Operations.

The intent of this guidance document is to provide general procedural information for MnDOT personnel or contractors performing work on MnDOT right of way, including MnDOT-owned facilities. Any optional procedures will be indicated in the document. Any deviation from procedures contained in this document must be discussed with Regulated Materials Unit personnel prior to implementation.

This document should not be construed as a full description of all regulations pertaining to the subject matter. Contact the Regulated Materials Unit in the MnDOT Office of Environmental Stewardship for additional information or legal requirements.


Two options for cleaning used containers (Lube Cube) and managing used oil sludge are provided below. The cleanout of the tank can be completed by MnDOT personnel or by contracting.

Option 1

All work completed by MnDOT personnel:

  • Remove used oil from Lube Cube.
  • Add diesel fuel to the Lube Cube to make the sludge pumpable.
  • Stir the contents of the Lube Cube to thoroughly mix the diesel fuel and sludge.
  • Pump out the diesel fuel/sludge mixture and containerize in a drum.
  • Label the drum as “Used Oil Tank Sludge” and “Hazardous Waste”.
  • Disposal will be arranged through the MnDOT hazardous waste contractor.

Option 2

Tank cleanout by contractor, disposal by MnDOT:

  • The MnDOT contractor will perform the entire Lube Cube cleanout.
  • The MnDOT contractor will containerize in a drum and leave drum on site.
  • The MnDOT contractor or MnDOT personnel will label the drum as “Used Oil Tank Sludge” and “Hazardous Waste”.
  • MnDOT personnel will arrange disposal through the MnDOT hazardous waste contractor.