HONOLULU (KHON2) — Hawaii faces a growing problem of what to do with thousands of gallons of used motor oil that’s accumulating each day. There’s a solution in the works, but it will likely lead to higher prices for car repairs and other services.

For years, Unitek Solvent Services has been picking up used motor oil from car dealerships and auto repair shops as a paid service. The company then processes some of that into diesel fuel which can be reused by industrial companies.

Get Hawaii’s latest morning news delivered to your inbox, sign up for News 2 You

The rest is processed into what’s called specification oil which was used by the AES power plant. But, AES shut down in September to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. So now, there’s a problem with what to do with all that extra motor oil.

Unitek was collecting about 45,000 gallons of oil per week; but since AES closed, it is now closer to 10,000 to 12,000 gallons a week.

French Wrench Shell Service Station has a 500 gallon container waiting to get picked up.

“It’s getting full, in fact I had made arrangements with Unitek to pick it up so I don’t know exactly, they didn’t give me a timetable yet,” said Mike Verner, manager at French Wrench.

Unitek said it already has a solution in the works.

“We are actually seriously looking at, if everything goes well, nothing ever does, to ship our first 50,000 gallons in about a week and a half out of state,” said Unitek President, Blane Yamagata.

He said the plan is to ship some to the West Coast and some to Asia. But, it will take a few more weeks to get things back to normal because of the backlog. Also, it will cost more.

“Twenty-five to maybe even up to 50 percent. I’m hoping not, I don’t work that way. As far as Unitek, we keep a decent margin to take care of our customers,” said Yamagata.

He said he will wait at least a couple of months before passing it down to his customers. But, it will not just affect car owners.

“We support the airline industry, the shipping industry, the tourist industry and hotels. Anywhere that does industrial type maintenance,” said Yamagata.

This then gets passed down to consumers.

Get news on the go with KHON 2GO, KHON’s morning podcast, every morning at 8

“It’s just another thing that the consumers have to realize are gonna have to pay for, because we can’t absorb all the cost increases,” said Verner.