Used Motor Oil



Each month more than 16 million gallons of used oil is disposed improperly. That is more than was lost by the Exxon Valdez super-tanker off the coast of Alaska.


  1. NEVER dispose used motor oil: on the ground; in a ditch, creek, river, or lake; in a storm sewer; or in the garbage.
  2. DO NOT mix used motor oil with anything else, such as gasoline, solvents, antifreeze, pesticides, etc.
  3. Transfer your used motor oil to a clean leak-proof plastic container with a screw-on top (milk jug, empty oil container, etc.) and put the top on firmly to prevent leaking or spilling.
  4. Contact a local gas station, garage, or oil change station to ask if they will take your used oil. Most companies that work with used motor fluids will accept the used oil. But, always check with them first. Don't keep the used oil around longer than necessary as you risk puncturing the container the longer you store it.
  5. Prior to discarding your used oil filter, punch an air hole in the dome end of the filter. You may use a screwdriver, but be careful not to puncture your hand. Also, puncture the anti-drain back valve (if present) located at the flat end of the filter. Allow oil to drain from the filter for several hours. Combine this oil with the rest of your used motor oil for recycling. When you find a station to dispose your oil, ask if they will take your used oil filter as well.


  • It takes 42 gallons of crude oil to produce 2.5 quarts of motor oil, but only one gallon of used motor oil to be re-refined into the same amount of reusable motor oil.
  • It only takes one cup of used motor oil to put an oil sheen on a one acre pond.
  • The United States produces 1.3 billion gallons of waste oil each year, of which 800 million gallons are recycled.
  • If all the waste oil in the United States where recycled in a single year, we would save half the output of the Alaska Pipeline for the same period.
Not only is recycling of oil a smart financial step in our economy, it also lessens our dependence on foreign sources of oil and prevents contaminants from getting into the environment.

Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality 602 N. Fifth Street Baton Rouge, LA 70802
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