How To Recycle Or Re-Use Engine Oil

When you handle your own oil changes, it’s important to recycle motor oil the right way. It’s not only the law, but it’s also good for the environment. And the water you drink. If you’re not sure how to recycle motor oil, we got you. We’ll show you how to do it in a law-abiding way that doesn’t harm the environment.

What Happens When You Don’t Recycle Engine Oil The Right Way?

Used oil collection
Image Credit: Brooklyn Park

You can reuse oil filters, but can you reuse motor oil? Absolutely! Not in the way most people think, though. You can’t drain the old oil out of your vehicle and then put it back in. Recycling engine oil means sending the used motor oil to a recycling facility. The recycling facility will recycle the motor oil into something else. Most commonly, used motor oil is refined into:

  • New motor oil
  • Fuel oils
  • Raw materials for the petroleum industry

Did you know that 42 gallons of crude oil is used to produce only 2 and a half quarts of clean motor oil? It only takes one gallon of used motor oil to produce the same amount of clean motor oil.

When you change the motor oil in your vehicle, it’s important to contain it and send it to a recycling facility the right way. If you either illegally dump the oil or neglect to contain it the right way, you’ll be:

  • Breaking the law
  • Harming the environment

To be more specific:

  • You could get fined or face jail time. The city may also demand that you pay all the clean up costs.
  • Oil sticks to everything, even water. If you pour used oil down a gutter, storm drain, or anywhere else, the oil will stick to the walls and contaminate bodies of water. Motor oil from only one oil change can contaminate up to 1 million gallons of water.
  • If you contaminate water with oil, it will hurt or kill the animals and plants that use the water.

Here are some tips on recycling motor oil the right way.

Useful Tips On Recycling Motor Oil

Recycle oil

Many people are not aware that any business that sells motor oil is required to collect used motor oil. There is no charge for this, and you don’t have to return your old oil to the same place where you bought the new oil. You can simply drop it at the closest place that sells oil. This is federal law.

Not all sellers of oil accept used oil filters, but many do. It’s best to check ahead of time before dropping off your filter. Some businesses will charge a fee to accept a used filter, but many auto parts stores do not.

The container you use to transport used motor oil is important. Be sure to use one of the following types of containers:

  • The same container(s) the motor oil came in
  • A container made of polyethylene or another plastic that’s ideal for containing motor oil.
  • A sealed oil pan

Be sure not to use any container that has previously stored other types of fluids. Motor oil that’s contaminated with another type of fluid is not recyclable. Speaking of which, be sure not to mix the motor oil with any fluids, including (but not limited to):

  • Washer fluid
  • Water
  • Gasoline
  • Brake fluid
  • Power steering fluid
  • Anti-freeze

Thank You For Recycling Your Motor Oil

Recycle oil

Recycling motor oil the correct way is doing Mother Earth a huge favor. We fully support this, and appreciate you for recycling your oil. Do you have any questions about recycling motor oil? You’re welcome to contact us!