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6 Reasons Not To Call A Junk Company To Remove An Oil Tank

multiple 5-gallon buckets in someone's yard holding old heating oil

Here at GreenTRAX, we keep preaching proper methods of removing oil storage tanks. We’ve given plenty of advice on removing aboveground oil storage tanks and underground oil storage tanks, and yet…

There are lots of people who still don’t get it.

You might be wondering to yourself, “Now just what in the world are you talk about, Mr. Blog Writing Man?”

Let me make it clear. We are talking about Maryland residents who are calling non-specialized people to remove their heating oil tank.

They call a junk guy, a trash hauler, a scrapper, a scrap guy, a general contractor, or even their friend to come by and take out the heating oil tank in their house or in their basement.

In short… DON’T DO THAT.

A heating oil tank needs to be removed by people who know how to handle oil and dispose of it properly. 

If you have an aboveground tank (or an underground tank for that matter) that needs to be removed, call GreenTRAX at (410) 439-1085. 

Do not call a junker or scrapper – they have no clue what they are doing with oil tanks!

Sadly for homeowners like yourself, this is a story we have seen over and over. 

Do you want proof? No problem.

Let’s look at six actual jobs GreenTRAX had to go back and complete properly. And just before you get any ideas – some of what you’ll see here are things that are completely illegal!

1 | Contamination

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This customer’s first mistake? Not calling GreenTRAX first to safely dispose of their aboveground tank.

Instead, another company came to remove the outside aboveground tank. Since they had no equipment to dispose of all the oil in the tank, they dumped it on the grass instead. Those are the dark stains you can see in the first picture. 

The second picture reveals how much contaminated dirt we had to remove because of the mistakes the other company made. 

Think that’s bad enough? It gets worse.

It looks like the company realized the oil was staining the grass, so they thought they would be clever and dump the rest of the oil behind the shed.

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The picture on the left side is how we found it. You can see here is staining in the dirt at the corner of the shed. 

Thank goodness the next door neighbor saw what they were doing and called the MD Dept of the Environment to report it. 

In this situation, the owner was not home while the other company was doing the work. Without that neighbor seeing the company’s dirty work, the owner might never have known about it. 

The picture on the right side shows how big of an area we had to excavate to remove the contaminated soil. It was about 6 feet deep.

In case we haven’t been clear – it is ILLEGAL to dump oil onto the ground!

2 | Left Behind Oil

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This homeowner hired someone to take the tank away. Who knows what happened next, but this picture shows the end result: all the oil from inside the tank was left in the homeowner’s yard like this.

We fixed it right away. 

3| Bad Equipment

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This was another head scratcher. When we got to this home, we found out that a scrap guy had taken the tank out of the owner’s basement, then used a shop vac to transfer the oil out.

Where did all that oil go? Into the owner’s trash cans outside, of course.

We also helped clear up this problem.

4 | Trusting The Not-So-Professional Professional

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Here we see the results of a homeowner trusting someone they’ve worked with before to do a specialized kind of job. They called someone who they told us was their “contractor” and “knew what they were doing” but when we pulled up, we immediately saw that they did not know anything.

GreenTRAX helped them safely dispose of the oil the contractor had so lovingly left outside.

5 | Spilled Oil

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If there’s one silver lining to this mistake, it’s that at least the company or person called for this job brought their own barrel. That way they could put the removed oil somewhere instead of just in the homeowner’s trash cans.

The good part stops there, unfortunately, as we soon saw there was spilled oil everywhere and that the drum had been left in the middle of the yard.

Then they called GreenTRAX, and we came out and solved the problem the same day.

6 | Cheap Buckets, Expensive Problems

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What is it with these people that do not know what they are doing? How do they always end up using trash cans and buckets? Is it always the same crew? Do owners call the same “cheap guy” to remove the tank and this is what he does? 

We don’t know, but what we do know is this is not proper AND it will always cost the homeowner MORE MONEY to clean it up and do it right than if they had just called Greentrax in the first place!

Get Your Oil Tank Removed The Right Way

Folks, I hope seeing these pictures of actual jobs that GreenTRAX has had to go back and clean up someone else’s mess has helped you see a truth in our business:

By trying to save a couple bucks using a non-professional service, it will always cost you more in the long run. In some cases, much, much more. 

If you call someone else who spills oil all over your yard or basement, it can cost you thousands of dollars to clean up the oil spill. 

Instead, spend a few hundred dollars to have the tank properly removed by our team. To schedule your oil tank removal, call GreenTRAX at (410) 439-1085.

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More To Explore

The Maryland Department of the Environment is cancelling the reimbursement fund for homeowners with leaking heating oil tanks!

This cancellation takes effect June 30th, 2024. You need to have your buried oil tank removed NOW, so if the tank is leaking you can get reimbursed for remediation costs before the program goes away. Click here for more information on the reimbursement fund as it operates now.

We urge everyone to contact their representatives in Annapolis and the Governors office and tell them DO NOT cancel the homeowner reimbursement fund for leaking residential oil tanks! They can still renew this program before this year’s legislative session ends.

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