UA’s Project R.O.S.E. Installs Motor Oil Collection Tanks Across The State

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. ­ University of Alabama-sponsored Project R.O.S.E. (Recycled Oil Saves Energy) will soon install seven collection tanks for used motor oil in four areas across Alabama, for the “do-it-yourself” oil changer.

Since 1977, Project R.O.S.E. has provided more than 500 volunteer used motor oil collection sites, and in early August this community service will be expanded with the installation of oil collection tanks for public use in Cullman County, Tallapoosa County, Geneva County and the city of Fairhope.

Project R.O.S.E. has also formed a partnership with the national environmental preservation organization, Earth’s 911. As a result, Alabamians can simply dial 1-800-CLEANUP and enter their zip code, and this free service provides locally specific motor oil recycling information, including location addresses, phone numbers and hours of operation. The same information can be found at Earth’s 911 Web address:

Project R.O.S.E. is one of the oldest volunteer used motor oil outreach and education programs in the United States. The program is located in the UA chemical engineering department and is funded by the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs’ Science, Technology and Energy Division.

For the past three years, Project R.O.S.E. has sponsored “Run for the Roses,” a Grand Prix 5K race. Proceeds from this race are used to buy collection tanks for public use by municipal and county governments. The next race is scheduled for March 3, 2001 in Tuscaloosa.

“Alabama has one of the best volunteer used motor oil recycling programs in the United States,” says Sheri Powell, Project R.O.S.E. coordinator. “Most Alabama citizens are very much aware of what improperly disposed motor oil can do to the environment,” she notes, “but unfortunately there are still a few people out there that don’t have a clue.” Powell cites a recent incident where diesel fuel was being sprayed on weeds in a public park ditch. “There’s no excuse in this day of information overload for not being aware of the potential hazards that improperly disposed petroleum products can cause,” she said.

Used motor oil contains dangerous toxins, like lead, chromium and cadmium. When not recycled, used oil contaminates surface water, ground water and soil; kills plants and animals; causes drastic decline in property value; and is hazardous to the health of humans ­ some toxins found in used oil can cause cancer.

The Project R.O.S.E. network of collection sites is made up of volunteer businesses and local government drop-off sites. These sites include quick-lubes, auto part stores, many auto dealerships, as well as city and county shops. As an addition to the current collection sites, the new tanks will make a significant impact on the environment. Each tank can hold 325 gallons of used motor oil. The public is asked not to mix used motor oil with any other solvents, and to take it to the nearest collection site in a tightly sealed container.

Powell adds, “We have some exciting new developments coming up this summer that will expand the scope and outreach of Project R.O.S.E.” A public service campaign will officially kick-off these new developments, with television, radio and print announcements featuring such celebrities as Luke Perry, Mario Andretti and Steven Seagal.

For more information, contact Project R.O.S.E. toll-free in Alabama at 1-800-452-5901, or at 205/348-4878.


Kathryn Adams, Engineering Writer, 205/348-3051 Janice Fink, 205/348-6444


Sheri Powell, coordinator of Project R.O.S.E., 205/348-4878 Charlotte Nix, assistant coordinator, at the same number.