Doing your own oil change is a great way to protect your engine. Whether you’ve got a Yamaha, Suzuki, BMW or any other motorcycle, finish the job right by recycling your used oil and filter. Both motor oil and the steel in oil filters can be cleaned and used over and over again if they’re recycled.
See the key steps in this video:
Get in gear.
The first step is prep. Set up with an oil drain pan, gloves, rags, filter wrench, funnel, cardboard, fresh oil, a filter, and crush washer. Fully drain the used oil AND filter – ideally overnight to catch all the oil. A used oil filter can hold up to a quart of oil! Use a funnel to pour the used oil into a clean, leak-proof plastic container with a screw-on cap. Place the empty oil filter in a sealed plastic bag.
Depending on where you live, you might be able to get free jugs and filter bags for recycling delivered to your home – find your city below for details. Be sure to keep the oil clean – don’t mix it with any other substance so that it can be recycled again and again. If it does get contaminated, make sure to take it to your local Household Hazardous (HHW) Facility (see below). Once your oil and filter are secure, you can either park it at the curbside for recycling or take it on the road. Keep reading to decide what’s easiest for you.
Park it at the curb.
If you live in one of the cities listed below, you may have access to convenient curbside oil and filter recycling! Depending on where you live and your waste hauler, you might need to prep your oil and filter a little differently to guarantee it will get picked up. Find your city or town below for details.
Alameda, Castro Valley Sanitary District, San Leandro
For Alameda County Industries customers, used motor oil and oil filters are collected curbside with single-family residential properties and complexes of two to four units. Alameda also provides curbside pickup for multifamily dwellings – call ACI (510-483-1400) before placing packaged oil on the curb for pickup. Free jugs and oil filter bags may be requested from ACI (510-483-1400 for Alameda and Castro Valley Sanitary District, 510-357-7282 for San Leandro), or you may use your own clean containers in Alameda and San Leandro. (Castro Valley Sanitary District customers must call ahead to request a Used Oil Recycling Kit and use the containers provided by ACI.) Oil should be secure in a one gallon, screw top container. Oil filters must be contained in clear zipper-lock style bags. Set up to two jugs of oil and bagged filters next to the cart, NOT INSIDE, on your service day.
Albany, Emeryville, San Lorenzo and Unincorporated Alameda County
Through Waste Management, used motor oil and oil filters are collected curbside with most single-family homes and some apartments – go to their site or call 510-613-8710 to confirm service for your address and request a free jug to contain oil. Place up to four filled motor oil recycling jugs and up to two filters in sealed plastic bag curbside, next to your trash cart, not inside, the cart.
Residential households with Amador Valley Industries (AVI) can call 925-479-9545 and request up to two used motor oil containers and a heavy duty zip lock bag for the recycling of up to two used motor oil filters. On your regular collection day, place the container(s) at the curb and AVI will replace them with empty ones for your next use.
For residential Republic Services customers in Fremont and Newark, used motor oil is collected curbside at no extra cost. For more information and to request free Oil Recycling Kits, call Customer Service at 510-657-3500.
Hayward, Union City
For residential recycling Tri-CED Customers in Hayward and Union City, used motor oil is collected curbside at no extra cost. For more information and to request free Oil Recycling Kits, call Tri-CED Customer Service at 510-429-8030.
For single-family residents in Livermore, contact Livermore Sanitation at 925-449-7300 to arrange for free delivery of oil jugs and filter bags. Place sealed jug and bag on the curb next to, not inside, your blue recycling cart on collection day.
Take it on the road.
If you don’t have curbside oil and filter recycling, Alameda County has over 100 drop-off locations where any DIYer can take their used motor oil and filters for free, including auto parts stores, repair shops and recycling yards. CalRecycle created a map of all the used oil and filter collection centers, so you can easily find the closest center to drop-off your used oil and filters. Most sites accept up to five gallons of used motor oil. Always call the drop-off location first to verify hours and limitations.
Not sure if your oil is mixed with other materials, or have other Household Hazardous Waste (HHW) such as batteries, antifreeze, or brake fluid to get rid of as well? Alameda County HHW Facilities in Oakland, Livermore, Hayward and Fremont are open for drop-off during limited hours with COVID-19 rules for safety. Residents can drop off a maximum of 15 gallons or 125 pounds of contaminated oil and other HHW off for free at the Oakland, Livermore, Hayward and Fremont facilities with proof of residency. Visit the Alameda County HHW site beforehand to confirm hours and requirements.
For more useful info on motorcycles, DIY oil changing, or where to recycle used motor oil and filters in a different California city or county – check out our other Riders Recycle blog posts or drop-off locations page!