Oil and fluid drain pans are common in the automotive industry, as they are used to catch excess or old oil and other internal fluids during oil/fluid changes. When changing the oil in your vehicle, it is easiest to utilize an oil drain pain to catch the old oil as it drains out of the vehicle. You can also set automotive drain pans under the engine to catch excess oil as you are refilling the oil reservoir. This prevents oil from dripping on the ground or driveway.
Used oil is not considered hazardous waste, yet it is still highly regulated with regards to disposal. Oil drain pans are designed to gather old oil in a non-messy way for easy disposal. Disposal can be done in a myriad of ways, but oil should never simply be burned or poured on the ground. Oil contains a number of compounds and chemicals that are quite harmful to humans and animals, and by pouring it out on the ground instead of into automotive drain pans, these harmful chemicals can enter the water supply and eventually be ingested.
Because of the risks associated with oil contamination, states now regulate its disposal and require it is taken to oil recycling facilities for proper disposal. This can be done either by taking your oil containers into the facility or by renting a large drum that can be incrementally filled and then picked up by the recycling facility when it is full. Depending on the amount of oil you may use during any given time period, having your own disposal drum for pickup may be the best and most economical option available. Simply fill the drum with your drain pans and call the company when it is full.