Used Motor Oil and Oil Filters – Linked for Life

Crushed oil filters on their way for recycling.

Crushed oil filters on their way for recycling.

What happens when a used oil filter is not properly disposed of? An oil filter may contain up to 10 ounces of used motor oil trapped inside, just waiting to ooze out and contaminate our streams, neighborhood streets and the local landfill. Once oil contaminates a landfill, over time it can gradually reach underground water sources. The California Department of Resources Recycling & Recovery (CalRecycle) estimates there are at least two million gallons of motor oil lost when filters are not properly recycled at a used motor oil and filter collection center.
So, when you change your car’s motor oil and filter, think of the link between used motor oil and oil filters and safely dispose of both at a local Collection Center!

Oil filters are remanufactured into cars, cans, appliances and construction material. The Steel Recycling Institute reports more steel is recycled than any other material in the U.S.
Here in the City of San Mateo, Bob Reed’s Service Station accepts used oil filters from the public. Once the oil is drained and properly disposed of), he crushes and consolidates the filters to reduce disposal and transportation costs, and then ships them to a scrap metal recycler.

Happy recyclers at a filter exchange event, with Julia Au, a San Mateo County Pollution Prevention Specialist.

Happy recyclers at a filter exchange event, with Julia Au, a San Mateo County Pollution Prevention Specialist.

Autozone and O’Reilly Auto Parts stores are two businesses among many that accept used motor oil and filters from the public. We even hold Filter Exchange Events to educate the public on the importance of filter recycling and provide an incentive for residents to bring in filters to our partner collection centers. Some of your local garbage companies will collect filters at the curbside but if they don’t, they can’t go in your trash carts so bring them back to your local collection center instead!

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