What do you do with your used motor oil? If you have ever changed your own oil, you know that it’s important to recycle or dispose of it properly. Here are some tips for handling and getting rid of the used oil after you pour in the new.
Capturing your used motor oil
Let’s start with a few important tips to keep in mind when changing your own oil:
What to do with the used oil
- When draining the crankcase and removing the filter, it’s very important to catch every drop of used oil. This prevents it from being washed away into a stream or storm drain or finding its way into the soil.
- Collect oil in a clean plastic or metal container with a tightly sealed lid; use only containers that are made of a suitable plastic, such as PE (polyethylene) or other material. For example, milk jugs are not a proper container for used oil, but you might consider reusing the original motor oil container.
- Do not mix the oil with other automotive fluids or household chemicals (such as differential oil, antifreeze, solvent, paint, etc.). Also avoid using containers that previously held these kinds of chemicals to store used oil.
Next comes recycling or disposing of your used oil. To recycle your used oil properly, you’ll either want to take it to an oil change facility that accepts oil containers or to a household waste recycling facility near you. Whichever option you choose, it’s a good idea to call first to make sure that the facility will accept containers of used oil.
Recycling your oil is a great way to help the environment. Your used motor oil can be cleaned and fully reused as a fuel oil. One gallon of used oil provides one gallon of fuel oil. With higher-intensity processing, it can be re-refined back into lubricants at about a 60 percent yield – 1 gallon of used motor oil provides about 2.5 quarts of lubricating base oil. It’s not just the used oil from your car or truck that can be reused or re-refined. Used motor oil from motorcycles, boats, farm equipment and lawn mowers can be reused or re-refined as well.
Where to recycle your used oil
Need help finding somewhere to recycle your oil? Earth 911 is a network that connects you to local environmental programs in the United States and parts of Canada. Visit Earth 911 or call 1-800-CLEANUP for more information and to find a location near you.
It’s always a good idea to call ahead to confirm what different locations can and cannot recycle as well as what kinds of oil containers they will accept.