Long before environmental concerns entered anyone’s thoughts, Charles Usher was collecting used oil from local service stations and providing the feedstock to the first used oil re-refinery in Michigan.
This opportunity came to the attention of Mr. Usher from his nephew who was a principle chemical engineer in the design of the Keystone Oil Company. As the Great Depression released its grip on the country, and manufacturing plants ramped up their operations once again, Charles was joined by his son, Morris. Together, they grew Usher Oil to become a major supplier of used oil fuels for heavy industrial furnaces.
As EPA regulations pertaining to the handling and sale of used oil were introduced to the recycling industry, Usher Oil sought further expansion. We bought additional properties and greatly enlarged our capabilities for processing vast volumes of untreated waste waters and used oils, ensuring we can meet the many demanding criteria imposed on the industry by federal, state, and municipal agencies.
Research led us to choose a treatment system which includes chemical, oxidation, and precipitation techniques. We used the guidelines of the EPA, and they recommend dissolved air flotation (DAF) as the best available technology for the removal of fats, oil, grease, and metals. Our waste-water and used-oil processes are the only ones in Michigan able to use two DAF units either in series or parallel sequence for the most effectively treated outbound effluent. In addition to producing waste waters that can meet the standards mandated by the EPA, our acid cracking and proprietary chemical oil treatment process allows us to produce the highest quality on-specification used oil fuel.
We look back over 8 decades to the first company collection truck, and think about the dozens of others we’ve owned over the years that have faithfully serviced our customers. We consider the tens of millions of gallons of used oil that we have safely recycled for reuse in industry once again. Only upon these reflections can we appreciate the commitment to our customers and heritage – a commitment that must be maintained by the 4th generation of this proud, family-owned and managed company.