How easy/hard is it to return used motor oil?

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The reason many shops will not take waste oil (mine included) is that to be frank we have no clue what is in it. If there is chlorine in it (which waste oil companies test for before they pump the tank out) that turns it into hazardous waste. If there is too much water or antifreeze in it or gas or diesel that turns it into hazardous waste. Couple that with the fact that I have to pay to have waste oil disposed of and no I will not take waste oil off the street. Most municipalities will accept waste oil from consumers in PA.

This right here^^is why I will not accept used oil off the street, They use to pay for used motor oil....But I don't see that ever coming back.

Don't use a waste oil heater for the whole 30 days of cold weather we have here, If a waste oil A/C system is ever invented.....
 

TiGeo

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I typically use our county's (VA) recycling center as necessary...oil, filters, oil containers, batteries, whatever. Free. Always open/no limits or drama. I send a big chunk of my fluids and filters (oil/brake/gear/trans/Haldex) back to FCP Euro where they recycle it. I've never had a "tank full" at AZ issue.
 
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Our county has a recycling point just 1.5 miles down the road that includes a tank for used oil and fluids. I pour it in there.
 
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It's real easy here. People put their waste oil jugs, next to the dumpster at the local AAP, and that's where mine goes.
 
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In my area, any store, shop, parts store that sells oil must take back used motor oil for free. I just bring mine to AAP 'cause this is where I do most of my car product shopping.
 
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Our county has one site that will accept. The auto parts stores have a sign stating “Oil Tank Is Full”.
They’ve all probably been burned by someone dumping compressor oil etc that tainted the load. Costs them money to have it processed. It seems to me that tainted oil in a tank is better than creating a situation where folks are dumping oil on the ground. It’s all about containing cost, not protecting the earth.
 
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I've had the same problem in MA. I went to an O'Reilly's a few years ago with a neat and tidy 5-gallon bucket that I poured into the tank myself and he acted like he just did me the biggest favor of my life. I went to an Autozone a few years later and the guy said 5 gallons was too much - I just changed the oil on my Tundra and RX 350 the same day and the bucket wasn't full but it had 14 quarts in it - ok where the heck am I supposed to recycle then?
I now drive about 25 mins to the closest Walmart Auto Center because they just leave a table out and they don't ask any questions - I'd like to find somewhere with a tank that I can pour into because I like using the 5-gallon buckets for storage/transport and I don't always have empty 5-quart containers to pour used oil into to leave at Walmart.
 
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The city picks up used oil, transmission fluid, and brake fluid. They say to dump antifreeze down the drain into the sewer system or it can be broken down.
 
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We have a city recycling center about 3 miles from where I live. I just drop one to three 5 quart jugs of oil every time I go there. You show your drivers license and the attendants gladly take your oil. I have a Walmart about 3 miles away as well and they always take my oil and you sign a paper and write down how many quarts of oil you dropped off. The Jiffy Lube will take it too and they tell you to have an oil change done there sometime. lol.
 

Shel_B

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I live in a small town (less than 4 square miles) in the San Francisco Bay Area. We have what is acknowledged to be one of the best recycling centers in California. People from other countries have even come here to visit and learn (just a little community pride showing here).

The Center takes oil, simply and easily. There's a large container into which used oil can be dumped, and adjacent bins for used containers. There's a small area for unused oil. I've had a few containers that I wasn't going to use, so I left the oil for someone else who might need it.

The Center also offers curbside recycling.


I've never taken my used oil to an auto parts store, but I understand that they are required to take used oil. In my case, either the shop that changes my oil recycles it or I take it to the center.
 
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Guess I'm spoiled here, we have a state law that requires all retailers that sell oil to take back used oil. Some national retailers also take it back but I guess they're not required by state law.
That's what I'm getting at. I don't know about others, but personally, I don't know what the laws regarding this are for the other (49) states. And like you say, auto parts chains like Autozone, AAP, O'Reilly all accept used oil. Our county also has a drop-off location but it's only open during the day so for myself (and many others), it's inconvenient. The Walmart nearest me also takes it as they have a repair center. I don't know if the local NAPAs take oil, Auto Value, KOI/Federated/Fisher, etc, etc though....

Going back to "the tank is full", I was at O'Reilly getting some things one day and had brought my used oil. I told them I had it when checking out and was told "I think the tank is full but meet me at the back door and we'll see". In this case, it really was full ! The oil was bobbing up through the metal grate/screen that oil is poured into !
 

TiGeo

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I generally mix any oil in my catch pan jug thing including motor, gear, trans, etc. Brake fluid I keep separate but likely have dumped it all in a used oil tank before. Didn't realize that was an issue - learned something in this thread! Will make sure I don't do that again.
 
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A somewhat-related story: We have a drum in our shop where our employees used to dump their personal oil. That all stopped after a disgruntled former employee called the state and claimed we were dumping 1,1,1-trichloroethane in our used-oil drum (which was totally false; we have to account for every drop of the stuff we use). The state sent inspectors to our shop and they spent a whole day looking at everything.... And now the used-oil drum has a cap on it with a lock.
 
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Could also burn the used oil maybe a quart at a time through a full tank of gas....

If that is a bad idea, please tell me why.
 
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