ecycling is the only way to safely dispose of motor oil. Once you remove and contain the oil from your vehicle along with an old oil filter, you can drop off used oil at select auto parts store locations or municipal recycling facilities. Find out more about the most convenient ways to recycle motor oil.

car dashboard viewed through the gap in the steering wheel

Drain Used Motor Oil

When you are ready to do an oil change, safely lift your vehicle to gain access to the oil pan. Place a tarp or plastic sheet under your work area and set a drip pan or reservoir out to collect used oil. Unless your vehicle has an oil leak, you can expect at least a gallon of oil to pour out when you remove the drain plug. Wait until the flow slows, or about five minutes, before moving the container.

If you plan to change your own oil on a regular basis, you might want to invest in a drip pan that you can seal when storing or transporting oil to a location that provides motor oil recycling near me. You can also use a drip pan with a spout to carefully transfer used oil back into its original container.

Contain Used Motor Oil

You should seal a container filled with used oil for safe transportation. Only put used oil in a container that has never been used for other liquids. Never store or transport used oil in plastic drink containers or other vessels that could leak. It is not possible to recycle motor oil that mixes with water or other fluids.

It is also a good idea to recycle old oil filters, which contain residual oil. Puncture the dome and drain the filter into the drip pan before sealing the part in a plastic bag. Curbside pickup is available for used motor oil in some localities. If you have this option where you live, you should be sure to use the specified type of container and meet any other requirements. A standard recycling bin is not a suitable place to dispose of motor oil.

man lifting the dipstick to check the motor oil level in an SUV

Drop Off Used Motor Oil 

You can call the nearest auto parts store location to find out whether you can drop off used motor oil or to get information on locations in your area that participate in recycling programs. As an added benefit, you can pick up a replacement K&N oil filter or any other parts, supplies or tools you need at the store.

In other locations, you may need to take used motor oil to a local or regional recycling location. Once again, you should check drop-off requirements and follow container rules to avoid dumping used motor oil.

Why To Recycle Motor Oil

The amount of oil from a single change could contaminate up to 1 million gallons of surface water.  In addition to preventing contamination, recycling motor oil can help you avoid fines and other penalties for improper disposal. Look up which auto parts stores or recycling locations near you accept used motor oil as you prepare to change the oil in your vehicle.

Apr 19, 2024