Used Motor Oil

A lot of people don’t realize that motor oil never actually goes bad. It only gets dirty while it’s in your car’s engine – motor oil recyclers filter out that dirt before passing it on to be repackaged and reused.

Motor oil poured onto the ground or into storm drains, or tossed into trash cans (even in a sealed container) can contaminate and pollute soil, groundwater, or end up in the ocean. Recycling your used motor oil reduces this pollution threat. When you take your used oil to a certified center for recycling, you are protecting the environment, conserving a valuable resource and best of all, getting paid for it!

About Certified Centers

CalRecycle encourages the recycling of used motor oil by certifying used oil recycling collection centers throughout the state. Certified Used Oil Collection Centers will take used motor oil from the public and will pay you 16¢ a gallon. Most centers will take up to 5 gallons at a time.

What About Contaminated Oil?

Certified center managers will not accept used motor oil that’s been contaminated with other fluids such as antifreeze, solvents, gasoline, or water. So please, don’t mix your used oil with anything. However, if your used oil accidentally gets contaminated, your certified center manager can tell you where to take it for proper disposal. Alternatively, you can get information from your recycling coordinator about how to deal with oil you think may be contaminated.

Searching for a location to recycle used oil? Visit CalRecycle to find a location near you. Or use our recycling locator.