How to Dispose of Motor Oil? 5 Easy Ways!

If you prefer changing your car’s motor oil yourself, you must know what to do with the used motor oil.

When it comes to disposing of motor oil, you cannot simply toss it in the trash.

If dumping motor oil is not an option, you must be wondering how to dispose of motor oil. Fret not!

We have prepared a detailed guide on ‘How to dispose of motor oil.’ So, keep reading further.

Why Is It Essential To Safely Dispose Of Used Motor Oil?

Did you know that used motor oil has the tendency to contaminate one million gallons of freshwater?

That equals a 12-month supply of freshwater for up to 50 people.

When it comes to disposing of used motor oil, you need to follow some safety precautions to ensure the process goes smoothly.

Used motor oil is toxic and contains harmful contaminants that are not good for the environment.

In addition to this, when the motor oil is exposed to car vehicles and metal components, it further absorbs metal contaminants.

If you decide to drain used motor oil into soil, drains, trash, rivers, etc., it will cause a grave threat to the environment.

Toxic used motor oil can disrupt the natural ecosystem of a place by polluting the soil, water streams, and underground water.

In most countries, tossing motor oil out in the open is strictly prohibited and considered illegal by law.

Therefore when dealing with used motor oil, don’t forget to keep the following points in mind.

  • Used motor oil is insoluble and loaded with toxic chemicals and metal contaminants
  • Used motor oil takes ages to degrade.
  • Used motor oil is sticky and improper disposal can create a lot of mess.
  • Used motor oil is a key contributor when it comes to freshwater contamination.
  • Used motor oil, ingested through drinking water, can be severely harmful to your health.

It is evident from the points mentioned above that improper disposal of used motor oil is a significant health and environmental hazard.

The good news is there are various alternative and legal ways of disposing of used motor oil that we will be bringing to your knowledge. 

How To Dispose Of Used Motor Oil?

We have already discussed all the health and environmental hazards related to improper disposal of used motor oil.

To ensure that you do not add to the existing environmental pollution, follow the steps below for properly disposing of used motor oil.

  1. Make sure that you layer the ground or floor with a tarp or absorbent paper before beginning the oil change process. You would not want any stubborn motor oil spills or spots on your floor.
  2. The next step is to change the oil filter and take out the engine oil from your car.
  3. Be extra careful while handling motor oil. Avoid mixing up your used motor oil with any other liquid or soluble substance.
  4. Poke a hole on your oil filter’s dome to extract all the used oil and collect it in a metal container that can be sealed later.
  5. Keep the used oil filter in a sealed bag or container. The filter still contains some leftover motor oil residue that can be recycled later on.
  6. Store the used oil and oil filter in a sealed pouch or metal container with a tight lid. Make sure that your container is thoroughly clean and free from any other substance or liquids.
  7. Now that you have carefully collected your used engine oil in a sealed container, it is ready for disposal.

Where Can You Dispose Of Used Motor Oil?

After carefully following the motor oil disposal steps, you are now ready to hand over your used motor oil safely.

But who would want to collect your used motor oil?

You will be surprised to find out that there are plenty of places that collect used motor oil.

Your only job is to transfer your used motor oil to them safely; rest, they will handle everything.

Here are the most common motor oil disposal options that you may consider:

Dispose of Used Motor Oil at an Auto Maintenance Facility

The best way to dispose of this used motor oil is to a nearby automobile maintenance facility center.

These facility centers do not only collect oil, but they also recycle it for further usage.

You can search the web to locate all local automobile maintenance centers near your residence area. Make sure to give them a call beforehand and schedule a drop-off time.

Dispose of Used Motor Oil through a Waste Collection Company

Waste collection companies are becoming increasingly popular in the United States. The companies collect all sorts of waste, including used motor oils.

You can contact a waste collection company that operates in your city and schedule a pick-up or drop-off time with them.

Make sure that you dispose of your used oil filters along with the sealed motor oil to ensure it also gets recycled.

Thoroughly clean and drain the filters before disposal.

Dispose of Used Motor Oil via Government Waste Official Services

Another great way of disposing of your used motor oil containers is by depositing them at your nearest Government Waste Official Center.

Many major cities have these official centers that collect waste materials for further processing or recycling.

These hazardous-waste collection sites also have the legal permit to collect waste materials like used motor oil. So, if you want to play it safe, this is your best option.

Some cities also offer door-to-door pick-up services for waste collection. You can call your local authorities and see which government waste official services are available for you.

Dispose of Used Motor Oil at an Oil Change Facility

If you want to ensure that your used motor oil does not go to waste and gets recycled through a proper channel, give it away to an oil change facility.

Oil change facilities are known for recycling motor oils and other similar substances.

Make sure that you call them ahead to find out important details like: Which type of containers do they accept? What are their hours of operation? Do they offer any pick-up services in your area?

Dispose of Used Motor Oil at a Waste Recycling Company

If all of the above options do not work out for you, you can always dispose of used motor oil at a waste recycling company.

Make sure that whichever recycling company that you choose has a legal permit to accept harmful substances like used motor oil.

Why Is It Essential to Recycle Used Motor Oil?

It may be a lesser-known fact that used motor oil will never wear out. This means that even if it keeps getting contaminated, it can still get refined and recycled to be used again.

While we already discussed several used motor oil disposal options available, the best one undoubtedly is to get it recycled.

There are various disposal options that end up recycling your used motor oil rather than throwing it in a landfill.

Make sure that you conduct proper research before shortlisting which option you would go forward with.

If you do not go the recycling route for disposing of your used motor oil, it can cause a grave threat to the environment.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) revealed that recycled motor oil is as good as new if it goes through a proper process.

This way, you will help reduce environmental pollution and reduce the need for producing new oil. 

Moreover, the re-refining used motor oil consumes less energy as compared to producing new motor oil.

What Are The Options for Recycling Motor Oil?

While most people are aware that draining old motor oil down the drain or trash is not a feasible option, there are other alternative solutions that they are unaware of.

There is a significant lack of awareness and an opportunity for businesses to invest in the motor oil recycling market.

Refined motor oil can be used again in vehicles, providing a cost-effective solution to manufacturing motor oil from scratch.

In addition to this, recycled motor oil can also be used as an essential energy source.

Recycled motor oil can be used as a fuel in the industrial sides, especially at power plants and cement manufacturing sites.

When recycled motor oil is used in industrial-scale boilers and power plants, it is also considered less damaging for the environment. It’s a win-win situation for everyone.

The Bottom Line

We hope that this guide on ‘How to dispose of motor oil’ answered all your concerns regarding safe motor oil disposal. 

To sum everything up, it is safe to say that recycling used motor oil is the best solution when it comes to motor oil disposal.

This way, you can play your part in protecting the environment. 

We are optimistic that you will make the right call. Best of luck!

Other articles you may also like: