USED MOTOR OIL & RECYCLING FAQS
Why should I recycle?
Recycling the motor oil from your car, truck, motorcycle, boat, RV, or lawnmower is one way that you can demonstrate your commitment to protect the environment for future generations while conserving energy resources.
What are the benefits of recycling?
Recycling keeps used motor oil from rivers, streams, or lakes. It also keeps oil out of our ground water supplies which can affect your drinking water. Recycling oil saves energy and a valuable resource. Click here for more information about the benefits of recycling.
Where do I drop off my used motor oil?
Most service stations, repair facilities, and quick lubes will accept used oil without charge. Check with your local government or recycling coordinator for procedures and collection services in your area. A good source for local collection center information is Earth 911, which identifies collection centers in your area by zip code. To find out more about Earth 911, click here.
What is recycled motor oil used for?
Used motor oil can be reprocessed into fuel that can be used in furnaces for heat, or in power plants to generate electricity for homes, schools and businesses. It can also be used in industrial and utility boilers, blended for marine fuels, and other uses. Used motor oil can also be re-refined into lubricating oils that meet the same API specifications as virgin motor oil.
Is re-refined oil OK to use in my car?
Yes. You can achieve the same level of performance from a re-refined oil product as you can from virgin oil. Before buying a re-refined oil product, check to see that it has the API Service Symbol "donut" (which identifies the performance level, viscosity, and energy-conserving properties) and the API Certification Mark "Starburst".
Where can I buy re-refined oil?
Contact your automotive suppliers or local retailers and ask if they carry re-refined oil. For more information, please click here.
Is used oil considered a hazardous waste?
The federal government does not consider used oil that is destined for recycling a hazardous waste. There are three states, however, that have classified used oil as a hazardous waste (CA, MA, and RI). These three states require special handling for used oil. In all other states, used oil is handled like a typical household hazardous waste such as paint, stains, varnishes, pesticides, and many cleaning products.
What is the best way to store used motor oil before recycling?
Be sure to store your used motor oil in a container that will not leak - many people use milk jugs with a secure cap. Do not mix other substances like antifreeze or transmission fluid with the used oil. Store it away from children and sources of ignition.
How should I handle the filter and bottle?
The Filter Manufacturers Council has a web site that allows you to search for your state's regulations on the proper disposal of oil filters and provides a list of filter management companies that service your area. Filter Manufacturers Council has published the following document.
What happens if I don't recycle?
Improperly disposed used oil can end up in landfills, sewers, back yards, or storm drains. In all of these cases, soil, groundwater and even drinking water may be contaminated. Used oil poured down your sewer line can damage your community's water treatment system - contaminating your drinking water and costing you money. In most areas improper disposal of used oil is a crime. Click here to learn about recycling used motor oil.
How do I change the oil?
Find out more about properly changing your used motor oil.
Why is it important to change my engine's oil?
Oil is an essential part of your engine's life. It keeps your car running efficiently though all types of weather extremes. But oil does get dirty. When that happens, it can clog engine parts. To help maintain the life of your car, follow the recommendations in your owner's manual.