Pollution Solution: Recycling Used Motor Oil is Fast and Free!


Changing your own motor oil is a smart way to save cash, but carelessly tossing the used sludge is seriously bad news for our rivers, creeks and bays. Along with toxic chemicals, used motor oil is loaded with lead, arsenic, and other metallic compounds that wear off from your engine over time. When dumped into storm drains, poured onto the ground, or even thrown into black bins in a sealed container, that gunk can reach waterways and cause major contamination that can make beach-goers sick and kill water-dwelling plants and animals.

Here’s how easy it is to keep your at-home oil change H20-friendly:

1. Drop off used motor oil at any of the 650-plus gas stations, auto parts stores and repair shops that collect and recycle used motor oil in L.A. County. Make sure to store your used motor oil in a sealed container completely free of leaks, and check CalRecycle, LA Sanitation’s Used Oil Recycling Program, or SAFE Centers to find a used oil recycling collection center closest to you. 

2. Don’t forget to recycle that oil filter! Filters store more than 10 ounces of hazardous oil—even after they’re drained—so they should never be tossed in the trash. Place filters in a sealed plastic bag and call your collection center before you go to make sure they accept them.

3. Keep your new motor oil purchases green by choosing re-refined oil (a product that’s recycled from used motor oil and then reprocessed). Even though they’re not nearly as heavily marketed as standard motor oils, re-refined oils are just as high-performing—and may be even more effective than virgin crude oil. Look for Valvoline NextGen at your local automotive supply stores, recommends CalRecycle. Log on to their website for all the facts.

4. Remember! Leaking motor oil washes from the street into storm drains which lead straight to the ocean, so watch your car for oil leaks and fix it right away.

These tips are 100% guaranteed to protect the health and safety of your family and the environment. Follow them and you’ll be recycling your motor oil fast and free.


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