How to Dispose of an Oil Tank

How to Dispose of an Oil Tank

Many New Jersey (NJ) residents have heated their home for years with fuel oil. More updated homes have progressed to a different heat source leaving their oil tank unused. Other homeowners simply choose to update their homes to a more efficient or environmentally friendly fuel source, also rendering their oil tank useless.

When this happens, homeowners often to decide to dispose of their oil tanks and remove them from the ground completely.

The process of disposing of an unused oil tank can seem overwhelming. Many NJ property owners don’t feel comfortable having their yards torn up to remove the oil tank from the ground. In addition, if the removal process isn’t done correctly, there can be environmental complications.


Before you decide to remove an oil tank, talk to professional NJ oil tank removal service to get a better understanding of the disposal process. Details such as landscape management, environmental protection and ownership and disposal of the tank after it’s out of the ground should be understood before the process begins.

Removing your unused oil tank from your property removes a potential environmental hazard, improves home value and decreases the cost of home maintenance.

Below are the steps to removing your oil tank. Follow the NJ Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) guidelines in order to properly dispose of your oil tank.

Before Tank Removal

When disposing of an oil tank, a couple of things need to be done before the tank makes it out of the ground.

First, cap pipes need to be emptied and free of any fuel and oil residue. Your heating oil company should be able to pump your oil tank dry in preparation for it to be removed.

After the tank has been drained, it needs to be cleaned by a professional. Check your local NJ listings for “Environmental and Ecological Services” to assist you in cleaning out your oil tank before removing it from the ground.

Both of these procedures will decrease the environmental risk of oil tank removal. Sometimes during removal, no matter how careful or how clean, spills can occur and cause problems with the land in the future. Both draining and cleaning the tank greatly reduce the possibility that your land will be exposed to any harmful chemicals.

Getting It Out of the Ground

Hire a tank excavation company to remove the buried tank. They will help you access necessary items such as the permits and paperwork from the local authorities.

Sometimes removing your tank will threaten to damage nearby structures like outdoor sheds or garages. If this is the case, you may consider filling your tank with a gravel or cement instead of removing it from the property. This can be complicated, as it may affect your property values if future buyers do not wish to have a filled tank on their property, as it makes it more difficult to remove should this be desired.

Disposing of Your Oil Tank

Once the tank is out of the ground, take it to the salvage yard for recycling. If you do not have a salvage yard easily accessible, you can contact the local landfill for more information on where you should properly dispose of your oil tank.


Tanks can rupture when you move them, regardless of how professionally you handle them. Contact the NJDEP if you have oily stains or gassy smells on your property after the removal process immediately. Spills can have a possible effect on water supply, air quality and plant life.

At Tank Solutions, our goal is to make the process of oil tank removal as quick and easy as possible, while getting the job done right. For more information on how we can help you remove your oil tank, contact us.