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Where can I recycle motor oil
Recycle

Where can I recycle motor oil

Motor oil sticks to everything – even water!

When poured down a gutter or a drain, oil can find its way to oceans, lakes, and rivers. It contains metal particles and other toxic substances, meaning it’s hazardous for plants and wildlife.

If motor oil is poured down a drain, it can contaminate 1 million gallons of fresh water, which is enough drinking water for 50 people for one year, according to the Environmental Protection Agency.

The recycled oil can power furnaces or be used to fuel power plants that supply electricity. The re-refined oil is even safe to place back into car engines.

Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection Agency encourages auto parts stores and service stations to collect their collection sites on a daily occurrence, as well as inspecting the disposition of the oil. 

Once the oil’s out of the car

If you use an auto shop to change your car’s oil, call ahead and ask about recycling practices. Chains, like AutoZone and Pep Boys, typically recycle the oil, but so do locally owned repair shops.

If you DIY, keep these steps in mind:

  1. Place a plastic sheet underneath the engine and place a container, like a drip pan, on top of the sheet to catch the draining oil. Be sure to let the liquid drain for several hours. 
  2. Pour the oil from the drip pan to another container, preferably the original though you could also use a milk jug.
  3. Make sure that the motor oil is in a clean and tightly sealed container. Keep it away from direct sunlight, children, and animals, and ensure it stays dry
  4. Bring the container to an auto repair shop or to one of the city’s household hazardous waste events. If you live in the suburbs, check your county’s website for HHW events.

Note: if your motor oil is mixed with antifreeze or other fluids, it is unable to be recycled.

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Jessica Rogers

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