How to Properly Recycle Motor Oil

Doing your own auto maintenance is a great way to develop your skill set while keeping the costs of car ownership down, but it does eliminate some of the perks you probably don’t even think about when you go in to a shop for service. It’s easy enough to take care of your own tire pressure and radiator checks, sure, but are you diligent about recycling your oil? One of the reasons soil change places flourish is because properly disposing of oil is important to both the industry and the local community. Understanding how to change your oil means learning how to responsibly handle the old stuff.

The Environmental Protection Agency has warned the public that the oil from a single oil change is enough to contaminate as much as a million gallons of groundwater, but it’s easy to keep that from happening if you dispose of it properly, and oil recycling is free. All you have to do is bring it in. If you have been changing your oil and storing the old stuff in a sealed, safe container, you can feel free to let a couple changes add up before taking your oil in. If you haven’t invested in safe storage, use an approved drain pan that can be closed securely and take it in for proper disposal as soon as you can, so there aren’t any mishaps.

Where To Take Used Motor Oil

Used oil that needs to be recycled can be taken to the same full service auto parts store you go to when you’re shopping for new spark plug wires before doing your seasonal maintenance, so it’s easy to head back there to drop it off. If you’ve got a few things to do, it even gives you a great chance to pick up those extras you accidentally left off the supply list the first time. With that in mind, you really don’t need the investment in bulk storage unless you’ve got a small shop and you’re starting to take work. There are enough nearby places to take your old oil in most neighborhoods.

How To Recycle Your Used Oil

Follow these steps to keep your used oil safe.

  1. Lay out a tarp to make sure you catch every drop
  2. Use a suitable container, the old motor oil bottle works
  3. Store the oil without mixing it with any other fluids
  4. Hold on to the old oil filter for recycling as well
  5. Store in a cool dry place in a sealed container until you dispose of it

Used motor oil is a great source of fuel for oil burning furnaces and power plants, and it can even be re-refined into useful lubricant again. By recycling, you not only help preserve your local community’s groundwater, you also help keep the cost of heating oil stable by ensuring more spent oil is recaptured for a second round of use. Don’t forget to consult your tune-up list, and make sure you read up on how to replace air filter and other important steps to take to keep your car in peak performance shape for as long as possible.


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