How to Recycle Motor Oil & Filters
Fun fact: Earth911 originally started as a nationwide directory for where to recycle motor oil and filters, so we think recycling these products is pretty important.
Why Recycle Motor Oil & Filters
- According to the EPA, the used oil from one DIY oil change can contaminate 1 million gallons of water if dumped into a storm drain.
- Motor oil gets dirty while powering your engine, but these elements can be removed infinitely when oil is re-refined.
- It requires less energy to make a gallon of re-refined oil than crude oil, and a gallon of used oil offers 2.5 quarts of lubricating oil, equal to 42 gallons of crude oil.
- Oil filters are comprised mostly of steel, which is the most commonly recycled material in the world.
Motor Oil & Filter Recycling Preparation
- When draining motor oil from your car or other vehicles, make sure to put a container underneath to collect all oil. You may also want to put a sheet or tarp under the container.
- Use a secure container for collecting motor oil with a top that seals.
- Do not mix in any other car fluids like antifreeze or brake fluid.
- If you’re collecting oil over time, note that most facilities will not accept more than 5 gallons at one time.
- Use a screwdriver to puncture the dome of your used oil filter, then turn it upside down and let it drain into the motor oil container overnight.
- Put your oil filter in a plastic bag once it is fully drained.
- Take your oil and filter to a collection center for recycling.
Find a drop-off location for motor oil and filters near you using the Recycling Locator.
Frequent Used Motor Oil & Filters Recycling Questions
- 10 Things in Your Garage You Can Reuse or Recycle: Oil and filters aren’t the only things in your garage that you can properly dispose of
- Why You Should Recycle Motor Oil, and How to Do It: A step-by-step process for changing your own motor oil
- Valvoline Debuts Groundbreaking Re-Refined Oil: An in-depth look at one company’s effort to make re-refined motor oil