Cape Girardeau Public Works Using Waste Oil to Heat Buildings

By Ethan Worthington, Multimedia Journalist
Spring 2012 Public Information Office  Intern

In a move as economical as it is efficient, Cape Girardeau is now using used motor oil to heat a couple of its buildings. The Public Works Department building and the Recycling Center next door are now using waste oil for heat in the winter, saving money on energy and oil disposal fees.

Whenever fleet vehicles are due for maintenance all used oil is collected at Public Works. From there the oil is filtered and then put into either their 500 or 1000 gallon tanks. A fuel line then runs from the tanks, filtering the oil further and transporting it into the nearby furnace where it is burned.

“For smaller vehicles such as pickup trucks we can collect as much as five quarts per vehicle, or up to 30 quarts for larger vehicles such as dump trucks,” says Fleet Coordinator Mike Schott.

Waste oil is placed in these tanks after being removed from City fleet vehicles before being filtered and burned for energy. 

While only Public Works and the Recycling Center are heated by the waste oil, every department in the City is now sending its used oil to be used for energy. Everyone from the Fire Department to the Golf course is saving money and limiting their environmental impact.

Motor oil is now accepted from Cape Girardeau’s citizens at Public Works. Deliver your oil to the southeast corner of the Fleet Maintenance Shop on 2007 Southern Expressway, Monday through Friday, from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Your oil will be safely and, perhaps more importantly, freely disposed of.

For more information on the waste oil process call 573-339-6351 or visit