Burning the midnight oil will take on a whole new meaning once the city of McMinnville obtains an oil burner for its garage. Do-it-yourselfers will be allowed to drop off used motor oil, which the city will use for heat.
“We want to buy an oil burner, a stove that will burn our used oil, and put it in our garage,” said interim city administrator Bill Brock. “We did this very same grant back several years ago and bought one. All the oil that comes out of our equipment, our vehicles, goes into a tank and then we burn it for heat.”
The new grant will give the department a second heater at the city garage. Brock says McMinnville Public Works assistant director Brad Hennessee worked on obtaining the grant, which will save the city on heating costs.
“With a second burner at the city garage, it should be free from using gas heat and can go fully with recycled oil heat,” said Brock.
The grant comes from the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation’s Division of Solid and Waste Management. For fiscal year 2015, the state has $400,600 in used motor oil collection grants that can be used to establish collection centers.
“Used motor oil collection grants encourage cities and counties to establish collection centers where people can dispose of their used motor oil, which helps prevent pollution of our lakes, streams and groundwater,” said TDEC Commissioner Bob Martineau. “Communities across the state have taken advantage of this funding opportunity, and we look forward to seeing how they implement these measures to positively impact our environment.”
Tennesseans who change their own motor oil generate more than 1 million gallons of used oil each year, which can pollute soil and water and interfere with the operation of sewer systems when not property disposed.
In the Used Oil Collection Act of 1993, the Tennessee General Assembly established a mechanism to assist local communities in collecting used oil and reducing its negative effects on the environment. Tennessee’s Solid Waste Management Act requires counties to have at least one place in the county where used oil can be properly disposed. Funds come from the 2-cent deposit on every quart of oil purchased in the state.
The grant will reimburse the city up to $8,500.
Mayor Jimmy Haley, Vice Mayor Ben Newman, and Aldermen Everett Brock, Jimmy Bonner, Mike Neal, Ryle Chastain and Steve Harvey voted unanimously to go out for bids on a new oil burner for the city garage.