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How to Recycle Engine Oil and Container

How to Recycle Engine Oil and Container

The best thing to do with engine oil is to buy it from a retailer who will take back your used oil and container. 

Engine oil waste is not rubbish - it simply gets dirty when used. Just like your clothes, it can be cleaned, refined, reprocessed or reconditioned to be used again. At home, the simplest option to recycle this hazardous waste is to put the dirty oil in its original container or the new oil container and seal it well. Then drop it off to your closest commercial recycling location or transfer station.

The containers which the engine oil comes packaged in are not recyclable even when drained because they can absorb up to 10 percent of the oil residue. They need to be given to a recycler (via the retailer or transfer station) who has special machinery to remove the oil from the containers and recycles them appropriately. 

It is against the law to pour engine oil down sinks, drains, into sewers or watercourses, or throw it out in the garbage.
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Science Notes
When recycled, the re-refined oil can be of even better quality than it was before use.

Putting engine oil waste in the rubbish bin is dangerous to the environment – pollution of water, land an infrastructure are some consequences. The oil left from just one oil change is enough to pollute millions of litres of fresh water. Not only is it toxic, but also takes many years to breakdown in the environment.

Related Tip
Humans, plants, fish and shellfish are at risk from toxins oil picks up when used in engines – including arsenic, heavy metals, and other chemicals.  Oil also leaves scum on top of water and prevents light and oxygen from reaching fish and other water-residing life.