Minnesota Department of Transportation

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Regulated Materials

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Used Oil Sorbent Management

MnDOT has prepared this guidance document to provide its internal procedures and requirements for work performed on MnDOT rights of way, including MnDOT-owned facilities. 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.

Management of Used Oil Sorbents

The following guidance is intended to ensure that MnDOT manages used oil sorbents in accordance with regulations and in a manner that is protective of the department’s long-term liability. Used oil sorbents include floor sorbents, waste trap sorbents and rags used to absorb oil.

General Requirements

Definition: For the purposes of this guidance document, used oil must meet all of the following requirements:

  • Used oil includes engine oil, transmission fluid, lubricating oil, hydraulic oil, power steering fluid, brake fluid and gear oil.
  • Sorbent material is any natural or synthetic product used to collect liquid waste. Common examples of sorbent material include polypropylene, cellulose, peat, paper, corn, pumice, diatomaceous earth, clay and rags.
  • The used oil sorbents must be generated from MnDOT maintenance activities. Used oil sorbents must not be accepted from public or private parties.
  • Do not mix sorbents contaminated with solvents, gasoline, degreaser or paint thinner with used oil sorbents.
  • Do not mix used oil sorbent material that may be burned for energy recovery (such as polypropylene, cellulose, peat, paper, rags, pillows, pads, fiber filters, and corn) with used oil sorbents that cannot be burned for energy recovery (such as clay, pumice, or diatomaceous earth).
  • Used oil sorbents from multiple MnDOT facilities can be consolidated at one MnDOT facility within the district.


Follow waste handling guidance.


The two options for managing used oil sorbents are to recycle or burn for energy recovery through an Approved MnDOT Waste Contractor.


Used oil sorbents can be transported by MnDOT personnel in MnDOT vehicles.


Facilities generating and receiving used oil sorbents for recycling or burning for energy recovery must maintain a document containing the following information.

  • Name and address of the facility shipped from (MnDOT facility);
  • Name and address of the facility shipped to (facility accepting the used oil for recycling or energy recovery/burning);
  • Quantity shipped;
  • Dates of shipment and acceptance at recycling or energy recovery/burning facility.

Note: Retaining a copy of the shipping paper containing the above information would be sufficient to meet record keeping requirements.

Records shall be maintained at MnDOT generating facility for a minimum of three years. After three years, the records can be sent to OES for permanent storage.