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How to Dispose Your Motor Oil? Oil Recycling Tips!

How to Dispose Your Motor Oil? Oil Recycling Tips!

Learning about “how to dispose your motor oil?” is as important as learning how to change your vehicle's oil. Since this oil can contaminate the environment, you'll know where to dispose of it properly.

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  • Collect the oil properly
  • Remove oil from the filter as well
  • Compile the oil properly
  • Store the used oil
  • Find a recycling facility by searching for “used motor oil disposal near me.”

An oil change is one of the most important scheduled maintenance that you must perform regularly. This is because it ensures that your engine is fully lubricated and prevents overheating and other catastrophic damages.

Many drivers prefer to perform their oil change, which is a great idea to save on labor costs. However, knowing how to change your oil is not the only thing that you must learn because once you change the oil, you'll need to figure out how to dispose your motor oil. Motor oil cannot be drained to the environment because it leads to pollution and other harmful impacts that could disturb the ecosystem.

This article provides you with all you need to know about “how to dispose your motor oil?” It will also help you find used motor oil disposal in your area to get rid of the oil properly without causing any negative outcomes.

Why is it important to dispose of your motor oil properly?

After learning how to change your vehicle's oil, you might be asking yourself what could happen if I just dumped the old oil inside the drain or threw it in a container inside the garbage can? In addition, recycling motor oil can be an extra headache that might bother some people and add another layer of challenges to change the oil. But is it worth it?

Learning about the negative consequences if you don't dispose of the motor oil properly helps you understand how critical it is to recycle motor oil. Let's take a closer look at what could happen if you throw the motor oil in the wrong location:

1-    Contributes to environmental pollution

One of the worst negative consequences of not recycling your motor oil is contributing to environmental pollution. As you might already know, oil is a very sticky substance, which means that if you drain it in the drain or throw it in the garbage, it can't get to the rivers, streams, lakes, etc.

Once the oil reaches these ecosystems, it leads to harmful impacts that could kill fish and other living creatures.

2-    Has major impact on water

If you don't know how multiple bad oils are to the environment, you should see things in numbers. According to automotive experts, a very small amount of oil can significantly negatively impact millions of gallons of water, making this water nonportable to many people. So imagine if this oil got to one important source of drinking water in your community? What could happen?

3-    Involves legal components

Did you know that disposing of the motor oil in the wrong way leads to legal issues? Yes! Some regulations prevent people from draining oil to the wrong areas, and you might get fined or sometimes go to jail if things were confirmed against you.

As you might notice, there are plenty of negative consequences of draining motor oil in the wrong location. Therefore, if you think that by changing your motor oil, you'll save yourself a lot of headaches and waiting, you must learn how to dispose of the oil properly so you don't get into more headaches that could cost you a lot of stress.

How to dispose your motor oil?

Now you have a good understanding of what could happen if you don't recycle your motor oil, let's take a closer look at how to dispose your motor oil properly without causing any negative consequences:

1-    Collect the oil properly

The first step in disposing of your motor oil properly is to contain it and collect it properly. That's why when you perform an oil change, the first tool that you must prove it to prepare is having a bucket or a large pan to collect all the motor oil.

When you perform the oil change, you must move the path to the location where oil drips are expected. Also, when you move to change the filter, expect to see some drips of old motor oil that you also must collect. Therefore, you also need to move the pad to the proper location underneath the area where the oil filter is sitting.

2-    Remove oil from the filter as well

When you take the old oil filter, it is important to note that it also has a specific amount of motor oil. Therefore, you'll also need to drain all this old oil from the filter inside the draining pan. To do so, try poking some small holes inside the filter and letting the oil drain to the pan or the bucket.

Once you're done, you'll put the filter inside a plastic bag and seal it properly so you can dispose of it at the right location without causing any harm.

3-    Compile the oil properly

Once you're done draining all motor oil, the next step is to put the oil in a specific container. Unfortunately, many inexperienced drivers drain the old coil inside empty juice boxes or probably milk bags. However, that's not how it should be done.

Automotive experts recommend that you use the same oil container you originally purchased and drained the oil inside it. These containers are designed to prevent any oil leaks and contain the oil properly for this purpose.

Did you know that it's not recyclable if motor oil got mixed with any other fluid anymore? Yes! That's why you must put the motor oil inside the container that didn't have any other type of fluid like gasoline or probably radiator fluid.

Suppose motor oil got mixed accidentally or unintentionally. In that case, you can't recycle it, and you must let some agencies know that this oil is not recyclable and should be disposed of differently.

4-    Store the used oil

After you have compiled all the old oil, you need to choose a dry, cool location to store it until you're ready to handle the right location where they take motor oil and recycle it.

5-    Find a recycling facility by searching for “used motor oil disposal near me.”

There are thousands of used motor oil disposal facilities around your area, and all it takes you is a quick Google search while enabling the location for “used motor oil disposal near me.” The Google search should show you thousands of results sorted by how close they are to your location.

Try contacting them and letting them know that you're looking for an area to dispose your motor oil.

Typically, most drivers prefer to go to AutoZone because they have a lot of oil disposal facilities that are very convenient.

What to do with used motor oil?

Since disposing motor oil might involve a legal component, it is critical to understand what exactly to do with the used cities that have certain curbside recycling programs where you can see oil containers, not all cities have this. If you don't have it, you'll need to learn how to properly store and package the motor oil without violating the regulations.

It is important that you never attempt to throw motor oil inside the garbage can or any recycling bin because those recycling bins are not designed and do not carry motor oil recycling activities.

Suppose you confirm that the city doesn't have any curbside recycling for motor oil. In that case, you'll find a facility near your area by searching online for some of those recycling facilities and handling the motor oil container.

Why do you need to change your motor oil?

After understanding how harmful motor oil can be to the environment, one might ask why I would need to change the motor oil frequently? There are many important reasons behind changing your vehicle's oil as specified in your vehicle owner’s manual.

Oil is used to lubricate the engine's internal moving components. Without the right oil, these components will grind against each other, causing friction that leads to engine overheating. Engine overheating is one of the worst enemies that impact your vehicle and lead to catastrophic outcomes.

Over time of views, this oil breaks down, and it loses its main characteristics that help lubricate the engine. As a result, your engine will act like it doesn't have any oil. In fact, some experts indicated that driving your vehicle with very dirty oil is worse than driving it without oil at all.

Depending on the type of oil, you'll change it frequently. However, when adding fresh oil, you'll see a significant improvement in your vehicle's overall performance and fuel economy.

It is never recommended that you skip an oil change no matter what because it leads to major outcomes that impact your overall vehicle performance, and you might end up with a completely damaged engine.

How often should I change my motor oil?

Since you understood how critical it is to maintain the right frequency of oil changes, you might ask yourself, “how often should I change my motor oil?” The short answer is it depends.

Depending on your soil type, oil change frequencies differ significantly. For example, if you're using conventional oil, you might need to change it once every 5000 miles, if not every 3000 miles.

On the other hand, if you're using synthetic oil, you can wait up to 15,000 miles in some instances without needing an oil change.

Therefore, we recommend that you go through your vehicle's owner’s manual to get an idea of the accurate oil change frequency specified for your vehicle.

Note that not every car accepts synthetic oil. Therefore, you cannot immediately switch to synthetic oil because you don't like frequent oil changes, especially driving an older car. This is because synthetic oil contains certain strong chemicals that might damage the weak internal seals inside your old engine. Thus, before making this decision, you must consult your mechanic and refer to your vehicle's owner’s manual.


Changing your vehicle's oil is very common maintenance that you must regularly perform to maintain your engine's performance. You’ll need to dispose of the motor oil frequently, and there will be a lot of oil disposed every year.

Understanding how to dispose of your motor oil is one of the most critical skill sets that you must understand if you decided to change your vehicle oil. This is because oil is a contaminant, and it might impact the environment and lead to severe outcomes and cost you some fines if not go to jail.

This article provided you with a step-by-step procedure on how to dispose your motor oil. It also highlighted where you could send the contained model oil to be recycled and used for other purposes.

It is critical to note that learning about how to change the oil won't be your highest priority if your vehicle has major mechanical problems. This is because no matter how much effort you spend getting this vehicle to work, it might not be worth it. That's why many drivers give up on their vehicles and decide to sell them to purchase a better car.

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