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Special Materials: Hazardous Waste


Fewer oil changes saves you time and money, and helps protect the environment. Your car may not need an oil change as often as you think. Simply check your owner's manual for the recommended oil change interval number, or visit CheckYourNumber.org (factsheet PDF).

Where can I take used motor oil for recycling?

OIL RECYCLING EVENTS

Bring clean, used motor oil to an Oil Recycling Event. Events are free and are usually held on Saturdays from 9:00 AM to 3:00 PM.

There is an acceptance limit of 15 gallons of used motor oil per participant per day.

Contaminated motor oil and other hazardous waste will not be accepted and must be brought to a Household Hazardous Waste Event for proper disposal.

Oil Recycling Events are made possible by a grant from the California Integrated Waste Management Board.

For a schedule of OIL RECYCLING EVENTS, call our automated Hotline at 1-800-98-TOXIC/1-800-988-6942. Operators are available from 8:00 AM to 4:00 PM, Mondays through Fridays.

OIL RECYCLING CENTERS

Bring clean, used motor oil to an Oil Recycling Center such as a gas station or auto parts store. There are two kinds of oil recycling centers located throughout the City:

  • CERTIFIED Oil Recycling Centers
    These centers are certified by the State and will pay you 4 cents per quart or 16 cents per gallon of motor oil you bring in for recycling. Certified Centers will not accept used motor oil brought in container larger than 5 gallons. However, they will accept up to 15 gallons of used motor oil per individual per day. Certified Centers will not accept used motor oil that is contaminated or mixed with any other substance. Contaminated motor oil must be disposed of through a Household Hazardous Waste event. Certified Centers are made possible by a grant from the California Integrated Waste Management Board.
  • NON-CERTIFIED Oil Recycling Centers
    These centers accept used motor oil from the public but may or may not charge a fee. Limits are set by each center. Non-Certified Centers will not accept used motor oil that is contaminated or mixed with anything else. Contaminated motor oil must be disposed of through a Household Hazardous Waste event.

For information on the OIL RECYCLING CENTER nearest you, call our Automated Hotline at 1-800-98-TOXIC or 1-800-988-6942. Operators are available from 8:00 AM to 4:00 PM, Mondays through Fridays.

HOUSEHOLD HAZARDOUS WASTE EVENTS

You can also recycle used motor oil by bringing it to a household hazardous waste collection event such as to the Los Angeles City Collection Events or to a Los Angeles County "ROUNDUP".

Household Hazardous Waste Events WILL accept contaminated motor oil or oil that is mixed with other substances.

For information on HOUSEHOLD HAZARDOUS WASTE COLLECTION EVENTS, call our Hotline at 1-800-98-TOXIC/1-800-988-6942. Operators are available from 8:00 AM to 4:00 PM, Mondays through Fridays.


How do I use the automated hotline for information on oil recycling?

The City's automated 24-Hour Hotline provides information on oil recycling and disposal through a recording.

Information is available through the Hotline in both English and Spanish.

Callers can obtain information on the nearest oil recycling centers by punching in their zip code and waiting for a recording that will list the different Oil Recycling Centers, their locations and telephone numbers.

Operators are available, from 8:00 A.M. to 4:00 P.M, Mondays through Fridays.

The 24-hour automated Hotline number is 1-800-98-TOXIC or 1-800-988-6942.


How can I keep used motor oil clean?

When changing your oil, pour the used oil into a clean, empty, plastic container with a tight lid.

DO NOT MIX used motor oil with other substances such as gasoline, antifreeze, paint stripper or pesticides. Mixing used motor oil with anything else will contaminate it.

Contaminated motor oil cannot be recycled and must be brought to a household hazardous waste collection event for proper disposal.


Why can't I dump motor oil in the trash, sewers or storm drains?

Used oil is classified as a hazardous waste under California law and must be recycled or disposed of properly. Placing used oil into household garbage or commercial dumpsters or pouring it into sewers or onto the ground is prohibited by law because it can pollute our environment.

One gallon of used motor oil can pollute one million gallons of drinking water - a year's supply for 50 people!


What about oil filters?

Drain your used oil filters and seal them in a zipper plastic bag, coffee can with a lid or other leakproof container.

Take used oil filters to an Oil Recycling Event for recycling or Household Hazardous Waste event for proper disposal.


Why can't I dump oil filters in the trash?

Used oil filters contain a pint to a quart of used oil before draining. Therefore, it must be disposed of properly so that it does not pollute our environment.

A quart of motor oil can contaminate up to 250,000 gallons of drinking water!

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