Posted in | News | Recycling

A Reminder to Do-It-Yourselfers: Recycle Used Motor Oil and Oil Filters Together

A recent survey by California's Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle) revealed a serious gap in awareness among drivers who change their own motor oil. While 95 percent of Do-It-Yourself (DIY) oil changers said they recycle their used motor oil, approximately one-third admitted to dumping their used oil filters in the trash, potentially contaminating the environment with hazardous waste.

DIYers who indicated they threw away their used oil filters acknowledged they were not aware filters could be recycled, revealing a critical opportunity to improve oil filter recycling practices across the Golden State.

New efforts to build stronger awareness of the importance of recycling oil filters are rolling out statewide. CalRecycle is using public service announcements, filter exchange events, and other grassroots initiatives to educate the public about the importance of recycling used motor oil and filters together.

"California's home mechanics are recycling their motor oil, but we need to make sure they finish the job correctly and take in their filters, too," CalRecycle Director Caroll Mortensen said. "We are asking news professionals, local businesses, and our local government partners to help us spread the word. Together, we can make big strides to increase oil filter recycling and keep toxic materials out of the environment."

Each year Californians generate nearly 70 million used automotive filters, which are completely recyclable. After filters are drained, each one still holds about 10 ounces of toxic oil residue and is therefore considered hazardous waste that cannot be thrown in the trash. This trapped motor oil could add up to 2 million gallons of toxic waste going into California's environment, water systems, or landfills each year if not properly recycled. According to CalRecycle, recycling these filters, which contain about a pound of steel, could produce enough metal to build three large sports stadiums.

Californians can find a list of local Certified Collection Centers on the CalRecycle website. Additional tips and information can be located on the CalRecycle Facebook page and Twitter.

CalRecycle is the state's leading authority on recycling, waste reduction, and product reuse. CalRecycle plays an important role in the stewardship of California's vast resources and promotes innovation in technology to encourage economic and environmental sustainability. For more information, visit

Media Contact: Sarah Stanley
310.461.0383 | [email protected]

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