Spending some quality time with your motorcycle while staying at home due to COVID-19? Not sure what to do with your used oil and filter now that you’ve finished your oil change?
Whether you’ve got a Yamaha V-Star 650 Cruiser, a Dry-Sump Suzuki DR350 Enduro, a BMW R1150RT or any other ride, the job isn’t done until you’ve recycled 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. Though we’re focusing on Alameda County for this post, the options are similar across California – find details for your city or county here.
Get in gear.
The first step is prep. Fully drain the used oil AND filter – ideally overnight to catch the oil. A used oil filter can hold up to a quart of oil! If you’ve been stockpiling oil filters, be sure they’re fully drained. Use a funnel to pour the used oil into a clean, sturdy, 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 – read more below. Once your oil and filter are secure, you can either park it at the curbside for recycling or take it on the road when the Shelter-In-Place Order is lifted – 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 below for details.
Alameda, Castro Valley, 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, 510-357-7282 for San Leandro), or you may use your own clean containers in Alameda and San Leandro. (Castro Valley customers must call ahead 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 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
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.
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.
Used motor oil and filter recycling is easy in Oakland with California Waste Solutions whether you’re in a single-family home, apartment or condo – just follow the three steps in this Oakland Recycles Guide. Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 510-625-5263 to order a free Motor Oil Recycling Kit (required for curbside recycling). The Motor Oil Recycling kit features a sturdy plastic gallon jug, instructions, and a special oil filter recycling bag. Place the Motor Oil Recycling Kit on the ground next to the recycle cart or bin on collection day. CWS will collect the full container(s) and replace the kit with an empty one.
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, several of which are still open during the Shelter-In-Place period with limited hours. 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. If possible, wait until the Shelter-In-Place Order is lifted and always call the drop-off location first to verify current hours and limitations.
Not sure if your oil is mixed with other materials, or have other Household Hazardous Waste (HHW) such as paint, antifreeze, or insecticide to get rid of as well? Due to the Shelter-In-Place restrictions, Alameda County HHW Facilities in Oakland, Livermore and Hayward are currently closed. The Fremont HHW Facility is open limited hours (Wed-Fri 8:30am-2:30pm and Sat 8am-4pm), although current shelter in place guidelines discourage trips unless essential. Alameda County residents can drop off a maximum of 15 gallons or 125 pounds of contaminated oil and other HHW off for free at the Fremont HHW Facility with proof of residency. Visit the Fremont HHW site and call 800-606-6606 beforehand to confirm hours and requirements.
For more useful info on motorcycles, DIY oil changing, and oil and filter recycling – check out our other blog posts and the rest of the Riders Recycle site!