Oil Recycling

Oil Recycling

A do-it-yourselfer (DIY) changes their own oil because they take pride in the quality of their workmanship, they enjoy it, and they want to save money. And, perhaps they want to teach their children what their parents taught them.  Whatever the reasons, what is important is what you do with your used oil. By choosing to recycle your used motor oil you are demonstrating your commitment to a clean environment, and teaching your children that you care about the environment, the community, and their future.

Are you a Do-It-Yourselfer?

If so, recycle your used oil at a local retailer or quick lube facility. 
According to a recent study, more than 50% of motorists change their own oil. In 1997 between 43 to 62 million gallons of used oil was collected and recycled by do-it-yourselfers. In the same year, your local service station and automotive service facilities recycled 194 million gallons of oil.


Millions of gallons of used motor oil are being disposed of in garbage cans, sewers and backyards - practices that can contaminate soil and have the potential to contaminate your drinking water. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency believes that the largest single source of oil pollution fouling our nation's waters come from do-it-yourselfers – just one pint of oil can cause an acre size oil slick on surface water. It's important that you take your used motor oil to a recycling center and ask that your oil be recycled when you get your oil changed by a mechanic.


1. Drain your used motor oil into a pan large enough to hold twice the volume of the oil.
2. Carefully pour the oil into a reusable container. Make sure the container cannot be mistaken for a food or beverage container by a small child. Make sure the container has a safe lid. DO NOT use any containers larger than a few gallons since transporting the oil in large containers can be dangerous.
3. DO NOT put any other chemicals into the container (no antifreeze, gasoline, lubricants, solvents or water)
4. Call first and then take your oil to a facility that accepts oil for recycling
Used motor oil that is collected by “do it yourselfers” is critical to the used oil recycling system. Next time you change your own oil, remember, you can make a difference by recycling the oil from your car, truck, motorcycle, boat, recreational vehicle or lawnmower. By dropping off you used motor oil today you help prevent pollution and conserve energy for a safer and healthier tomorrow.


Used oil that is collected can be used in specially designed space heaters, reprocessed or re-refined. Motor oil can be refined over and over because it does not go bad – it just gets dirty.
*Information provided by the American Petroleum Institute