How To Safely Dispose Of Used Motor Oil

If you change your engine oil on your own, you are going to end up with quarts of dirty oil each time. Now the question comes up how this used motor oil must be disposed of in an environmentally safe manner?

However, before you address this question, you should know that used motor oil still has some value left in it. If you deposit this oil with a recycling collection center, it will help save energy and reduce the global carbon footprint.

How to Transport Used Motor Oil

The safest way to transport used motor oil from your home is to carry it in your car. As a first step, carefully transfer the contents from the oil drain pan to some clean and empty gallon jugs. If the drain pan does not have a built-in spout for pouring, you can use a funnel to pour the contents.

You may even consider purchasing a drain pan that comes with a sealable lid and spout. So you can carry the pan directly to the recycling center. However, if you find the drain pan to be unwieldy or tough to carry, particularly when it is full, you may use gallon jugs as a more convenient alternative.

Precautions During Transit

Make sure that the used oil has cooled sufficiently before you transfer it to gallon jugs. You only have to worry about this if you are changing the oil right after the car has been driven. The plastic jugs can burst open or melt if you pour oil that is still hot enough. Once the oil has been poured, take care to screw the cap onto the jug tightly or press it down until it secures completely, there are different types of jugs and containers. To prevent any chance of leakage that could spoil your car, you can place the jug in a plastic garbage bag and tie-twist the bag. You can place a few layers of old newspaper at the floor of your car before placing the jug on it.

In case you have a truck, you can place the oil jug on the bed so that even if the jug does leak, it will not spoil the interiors of the vehicle. In any case, make sure that the jug is securely fastened with tie-downs or some heavy material to keep it in its place. Even so, drive gently to your destination. In case you are going to transport the jug in your car, avoid placing it in the trunk. The jug will most likely topple over or roll around once you start driving. The passenger-side floor-pan is actually an ideal place for this purpose.

Where to Deposit the Oil

One of the easiest options that many people like to choose is to carry the used motor oil to the nearest gas station that accepts used oil for recycling. Some of the stations may charge a fee to cover their handling costs. In some residential areas, public recycling bins are made available for old motor oil as well.

If you need another option, particularly if you live in a remote area, you may find out if someone uses an oil-fired commercial stove to heat their place. Car workshops and other commercial outlets may be glad to accept your used oil for free. You may even dispose of gear oil in the same way and even mix it in with used motor oil.