How to Dispose Of Used Motor Oil?

Changing engine oil is one of the most crucial maintenance practices to do for your vehicle. The practice will not only improve performance but help in extending its life as well. Therefore, the prevalent question for many is how to dispose of used motor oil along with how frequently you should do it.

Start with the last, frequently changing used oil from your vehicle is a mandatory maintenance procedure. And this is why, as a vehicle owner, or Mechanic, you need to learn tips on how to dispose of old oil.

However, many people think that you can only change your car oil after three months or 3,000 to 5000 miles through checkups with your mechanic. Yes, this is the best advisable solution, and it is a practice you can complete by yourself at the driveway.

But for this, you have to learn how to dispose of old and used oil first. Thus you will save money besides keeping yourself active and knowledgeable about your own transportation.

For this, and much more about managing used oils, read through this article.

A Step-by-Step Guide On How To Dispose Of Old Oil

oil disposal locations near me

Have you been questioning how to dispose of motor oil? Changing the old oil from your car is always a simple one, but the most daunting question for many car owners is where they can take the oil. To get answers on how best to handle the oil, we have prepared a step-by-step guide on how you can go about the process.

Put the old oil into a sealable container

After you have removed the old oil from the car, you will have it in a pan. You cannot transport the oil in the pan, so you will need to transfer it into a sealable container. One more thing you need, before moving the oil, is to make sure that the oil is cool enough. Hot used oil can cause the plastic container to burst, leading to spillage. Moreover, while transferring the oil, lay newspapers or cardboard below the container to avoid spillage to the ground.

Transporting the oil

Once you have transferred the oil into a safe container, you will need to transport it to a waste facility for recycling. This is yet another area you need to take caution since you must find a safe place to place the oil container. If your chosen transport is a truck, the best place would be the bed of the car since it cannot spill. But for a different vehicle, the floor pan of the passenger side is always a preferred area.

Still, on selecting the best area to place the used motor oil container, it is essential to ensure it is relatively flat. Doing so will require you to secure it by tying it or placing something heavy beside it to keep it in position. Most important, through your journey, drive gently, and be sure you keep a close eye on it as you drive.

Where do I take the used oil?

The most daunting question after removing the oil is where to dump oil after an oil change. This should never bother you any more since there are many gas stations out there that accept old oil. If you do not know of any, you can do an online search by simply typing ‘oil disposal locations near me.’ Other than the gas stations, some states have used motor oil pickup stations while others have recycling bins placed in strategic places.

As you find the best location to dispose of the used oil, it is essential to know stations charge some fee for the service. For a free-of-cost alternative, you have to do a little more research. Once you have dropped the oil in the center, your part is played to you, and the station will handle the rest. As a reminder, do not forget to dispose of the old oil filter.

Notes on completion of the disposal process

Disposing of Autozone used oil is not just about getting the container of the used oil and transporting it to a used oil collection center. Here, you need to ensure the oil is safe for recycling. For instance, you must ensure the container carrying the old and used oil is stored in a cool and dry place away from heat and sunlight.

This is to keep the oil away from gas and liquid contamination since it can never be recycled if it is mixed with contaminants.

Not to miss, you should know that oil filters are also recycled. Most states will never allow you to dispose of undrained oil filters in the bin as it stands as an illegal offense. To drain the filters, you will need to use a sharp object to make a hole at the bottom of the filter.

And the ideal time for doing it is when the filter is still hot. With this done, allow the oil to drain into the used motor oil container. It might take some time to drain completely; therefore, be patient.

Where should I dispose of the used oil filter?

Any auto store that accepts used oil will receive the used oil filters. You need only to ensure the filter has been drained before dropping it at the station.

The above processes mean that the used oil is in safe hands for recycling and refining purposes. And you are done away with it.

How to Dispose Of Used engine Oil

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How to Recycle Used Motor Oil

Recycling used oil is a job after you have dropped your used oil at a waste or hazardous recycling facility near you.

At the recycling center, the oil undergoes the refining process to make it equivalent to newly purchased oil. To ensure this, it undergoes compounding and other processing stages that make it as new as virgin oil.

Laboratory testing and other field studies are also conducted to discover whether it passes the prescribed tests. The recycled used oil outperforms the new oil, and this is why many people go for it. After being recycled, it is released for use and particularly as a base for other new oil products.

Benefits of Recycling Used Motor Oil

Recycling used motor oil is always considered the best disposal method as it comes along with many benefits. The recycled oil can be used for many applications that include being refined into new oils being processed into fuel oils and raw materials in the petroleum industry. Below you go with some of the benefits that come along with recycling used oil.

Sustainability. Recycling is always considered the best option to manage used oil, as refined oil is crucial in two ways. One, in helping produce newly recycled products but in saving the oil extracted from the ground.

More, recycling the oil also aids in closing the environmental loop of the used oil, therefore, playing a part in enhancing sustainability.

Environmental. Recycling used oil comes along with many ecological benefits. The primary benefit is eliminating the risk of causing harm to the natural environment. Besides this, the carbon footprint found in recycled oil is always lower than the one produced in virgin crude oil. These environmental benefits can be summarized into;

  • It helps prevent both soil and water pollution.
  • The recycling process helps save valuable resources used in extracting virgin crude oil for refineries.

Profile building. Recycling and refining used oil are the best and right things we need to do. By doing so, you stand a chance of building your profile and also possibly getting a certificate and other promotional materials due to environmental responsibility. Building a profile comes from consumers getting to learn they are dealing with a business that cares about conserving the environment.

With these and many more benefits, we, therefore, have a reason to take in recycling any used oil we get from our automobiles.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q: Can you drop off used motor oil at AutoZone?

Ans: Yes, Autozone is always committed to participating in protecting the earth and our environment. This is why they are always ready to take any form of used motor oil or used batteries for safe disposal and recycling processes.

They have several stores across the globe, and therefore, all you need is the search for the AutoZone store near you and drop off your used motor oil there.

On a serious note, they have a record of recycling millions of batteries and over 9.5 million gallons of used oil annually, making it one of the best destinations to drop your used oil.

Q: Can you drop off used motor oil at Walmart?

Ans: Yes, Walmart is a trusted used oil collection center, just like Autozone or any other. All that they do not do is pay for the used oil you drop at their stores.

It means you are always welcome to drop off used motor oil in the stores but do not expect to get paid. They take the initiative in ensuring they participate in taking care of our environment.

Q: Is it illegal to throw away motor oil?

Ans: Yes, no one should even ever think of it. Most states prohibit disposing of motor oil on the ground or even down the drain. Oil falls in the classification of major toxic pollutants, and this is why it should always be treated.

This explains why we always need to recover and recycle used oil. To do this, after collecting the old oil from your vehicle, always take it to an oil collection facility where proper treatment and recycling processes will be carried out.

Q: Who picks up used oil?

Ans: This is one question that should never worry you. There are many AutoZone stores out here that accept used motor oil and therefore, all you need is to conduct an online search on the store near you.

Other than AutoZone stores, many local used oil facilities pick up used oil for recycling. Some of those facilities include transfer stations, landfill sites, and waste management centers. All you need is to make a call or visit their sites to discover whether they accept used oil or not.

Q: What do you do with old engine oil?

Ans: After you have drained off the used oil from your car, there is a need to take the final and responsible step of disposing of it in a used oil recycling facility. Throw no old engine oil in the trash or down the drain as it may lead to environmental pollution.

The most fortunate thing is we have many auto parts stores and service stations that accept used motor oil. You need to search or look for one in your locality and drop the old engine oil there.

Read: How to dispose of old gasoline: When your fuel fails

Final Words

Used motor oil can be a nuisance to handle. It even becomes problematic when you lack the knowledge of proper ways to dispose of it. Now that you have learned so extensively about used motor oil disposal, this should not bother you anymore.

By now, you now have known pretty well how to dispose of unused motor oil by yourself and, most importantly, the step you can take to have the oil recycled. Some have the knowledge on how to recycle used motor oil at home, but for the best results, it is advisable to take the old oil to a recycling center near you.


Hi there, I am R. Hasan Tito, a mechanic, and owner of this website. My friend and I created this website to share our knowledge, expertise, and experience with our fellow mechanics' community and car users. I am a specialist and certified automotive mechanic (Both Heavy Commercial and Private Cars). I worked as a Mechanic and Mechanic Supervisor for over fifteen years at Global Rebound Automotive companies - Toyota, TATA, BMW, Nissan, TVs, and Others. Now, I enjoy my new role of leading a team of automotive experts (in their respective fields) and publish new content on a regular basis on my website and social media.

2 thoughts on “How to Dispose Of Used Motor Oil?

  1. I thought it was interesting when you explained that used motor oil can be processed into new oils that can be used for different applications. In my opinion, it would be important to use a mechanic that recycles automotive fluids properly. That way you can know that the fluids are going to other uses and aren’t hurting the environment.

  2. My car has some old oil, so it needs to be replaced. However, I’m not quite sure what to do with the old oil. Thanks for mentioning that the oil can be taken to a gas station or motor oil pickup station. I’ve also heard there are some oil waste disposal services you can hire.

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