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Old 03-01-2013, 11:35 AM   #1
Rex Nemo OP
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DIY NorCal Riders--The How and Where of Oil and Filter Recycling

Oil and Filter Recycling

So, you do your own oil and filter changes, or want to start. Excellent. Definitely a skill we should all have, right?

DIY oil change

These days, though, besides a touch of mechanical know how, part of the oil change drill is finding a way to responsibly recycle your used oil and filters.

Ok, now what?

It's pretty easy—here is a list of links and phone numbers you can use to pinpoint convenient oil and filter recycling locations in your area, or get it picked up by your trash haulers. PM me if you want a specific area added that you don't see here, or have any other questions.

General Links

Riders Recycle is a city and county-funded educational initiative that encourages riders to recycle their used oil and filters, and gives them tools to get it done. There's a list of recycling options by area, a blog (with a growing number of how-to oil change photoessays, a V-Strom engine teardown, etc.), and a searchable list of motorcycling coupons offered by local retailers in Northern California—including good parts discounts, cheap oil changes, and even a free dyno run.

CalRecycle general search tool (by city and county); plug in your city or zip code, and this tool will bring up a list of the nearest places you can bring your used oil and filters:

Oil/Filter Recycling by City

San Francisco: Free home collection is available, call 415-330-1405 for pick-up. Place oil in a sturdy screw-top jug, drain your filter and put it in a good ziploc bag, and put it out on the curb on garbage pickup night, near your trash can. There is also a used motor oil and filter collection program which has 29 retail collection sites (O’Reilly Auto Parts, Jiffy Lubes and so forth) for DIY oil changers. Visit to find a collection center.

Oakland: The city will send you recycling materials free: Email or call (510) 238-SAVE for a free oil and oil filter recycling kit, including two sturdy gallon jugs, instructions, and a special oil filter recycling bag. (Used oil and filters will only be accepted in containers provided by Oakland Recycles.) They'll even leave a replacement oil jug and oil filter bag. For a list of drop-off recycling retailers (O'Reilly's, several oil change businesses, etc.), click here:

San Jose: Offers free home collection of used oil and filters. Call (408) 282-4400 to order free city-issued used oil jugs and filter bags (Used oil and filters will only be accepted in their jugs and bags, but will leave replacement jugs and bags for each full one they pick up on collection day). A list of 46 local oil/filter recycling drop-off retailers is available here:

Oil/Filter Recycling by County

Oil and filters are accepted at several retailers and hazardous waste collection centers in the county. Oil should be in a sealed container and filters should be drained and sealed in a plastic bag. Main Marin Household Hazardous Waste Facility, 415-485-6806.

Curbside recycling of oil and filters available in many cities—check the online chart for details. Oil should be in sealed containers; filters should be drained and bagged. Another list is linked here.

Contra Costa:
Some areas have curbside oil and filter recycling programs; a list of other hazardous waste disposal centers and businesses that accept oil and filters is available. 1 (800) 750-4096 or

San Francisco:
A variety of businesses and hazardous waste disposal centers accept used oil and filters. The SF Environment website has a search tool for each zip code.

San Mateo:
Several areas offer curbside recycling of oil and filters; a map of drop-off locations for other areas is located at:

Santa Clara:
Certified Collection Centers accept used oil and filters for recycling; some may pay up to 16 cents/gal. for used oil. List of collection centers is here:

City by city—most require bringing oil/filters to local Household Hazardous Waste acceptance facility.

Pour oil into reusable container with tight lid, drain filter and place in plastic bag. Call 707-255-5200 to receive a used oil container and filter bag for free, and to schedule curbside pickup. A list of public and private businesses that accept used oil and filters is provided; some will pay up to 40 cents/gal. For used oil.

Most areas offer curbside oil/filter recycling; call your local garbage company. Most offer free plastic bags for recycling oil filters, as well as jugs for recycling used oil.

Call toll free number—916-808-4800 to schedule pickup; place oil in clear jug and seal, drain filter and place in plastic bag, set on curb near trash carts.

El Dorado:
Call 530-626-4141 to schedule curbside pickup of oil only; place used oil in 1 gallon screw-top clear container and place curbside; up to 5 gallons accepted.

Take to local waste or recycling center or landfill, or bring to a participating retail or service shop (some will pay up to 16 cents/gallon for used oil). Woodland (530-662-8748) and West Sacramento (916-617-4589) offer curbside recycling when scheduled in advance.

In all cases, you should drain filters for at least a few hours before bagging them up, and keep motor oil uncontaminated with antifreeze, gas, or any other fluids—if it is contaminated (gasoline got in your crankcase or your head gasket failed and got coolant in the oil, for example), it has to get taken to your local Hazardous Waste Collection Center.
Wandering re-establishes the original harmony which once existed between man and the universe. --Anatole France
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