Get in Gear: Used Oil & Filter Recycling in San Francisco

You’re almost done with the oil and filter change on your bike, but what do you do with your used oil and filter? 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.

Oil and filter change class at Moto Guild in San Francisco.

Where to recycle your used oil and filter depends on where you live. We’re focusing on San Francisco for this post, but the options are similar no matter where you live in California (find details for your city or county here).

Pick up free oil and oil filter drain containers like the ones above at a Riders Recycle event near you.

Get in gear.
The first step is prep. Fully drain the oil AND filter – ideally overnight to catch all the oil. Residents can pick up free oil and filter drainer containers like the ones in the picture above at upcoming Riders Recycle events in San Francisco. Use a funnel to pour all the oil into a clean, sturdy, leak-proof plastic container with a screw-on cap. Place the empty oil filter in a sealed plastic bag. Be sure to keep the oil clean – don’t mix it with any other substances so that it can be recycled again and again. If it does get contaminated, you’ll need to take it to your local Household Hazardous Waste (HHW) Collection Facility (read more below).

Local resident drops off used oil and filter at a collection center.

Take it on the road.
San Francisco has more than 20 drop-off locations where residents can take their used motor oil and filters for free, including auto parts stores, repair shops and recycling yards. San Francisco Environment created a map of all the used motor oil and filter recycling collection centers, so you can easily find the closest center to drop-off your used oil and filters. Be sure to call ahead to verify hours and limitations, and make sure to give materials to a staff member. 

Mixed up?
Not sure if your oil is mixed with other materials? If you have mixed materials, more than five gallons of used motor oil, or other hazardous waste such as batteries, paint and brake fluid, you can schedule a free pick-up by calling (415) 330-1405. Visit the San Francisco Recology HHW website for more details.

Used oil and filter sealed and ready for recycling.

For more useful info on motorcycles, DIY oil changing, and to pick up free oil and filter recycling gear – check out our other Riders Recycle blog posts and upcoming events!

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