Working on your motorcycle while staying at home due to COVID-19? Planning an oil change but not sure what to do with your used motor 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 motorcycle, 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 Sonoma 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 all the oil. A used oil filter can hold up to a quart of oil! Call Zero Waste Sonoma’s Eco-Desk at 707-565-DESK (3375) to get a free motor oil filter drainer, like the one in the picture above, delivered to your home during COVID-19 Shelter-In-Place orders. 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 fluids or substances so that it can be recycled again and again. If it does get contaminated with anything, including water or other car fluids, 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.
In Sonoma County, curbside collection of motor oil and filters is available to all residential hauling company customers! 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.
Cloverdale, Cotati, Healdsburg, Petaluma, Rohnert Park, Santa Rosa, Sebastopol, and Unincorporated Sonoma County (see full list):
For the Recology Sonoma Marin customers in the cities/towns above, call 800-243-0291 to request a used oil kit (a container and sealable filter bag). When filled, call customer service to request a pickup, and place oil and filters at the curb next to, NOT INSIDE, your recycling cart on your service day.
Sonoma County Resource Recovery customers can request a free container and ziplock bag for used oil and filter recycling by calling 707-795-7470. Contain motor oil in a one gallon sealed plastic container with screw top lid and oil filter in a sealed ziplock bag. Place materials on the curb near your recycling cart for collection. They accept up to two gallons of motor oil per week. Find more details in the Residential Service Guidelines.
Sonoma including Creekside, Chantarelle, Temelec:
Sonoma Garbage customers need to call 707-996-7555 ahead of time to schedule a pickup. You can order a free oil kit with an oil recycling container and zip closure bag when you call ahead. On the day of service, set sealed oil container and filter bag next to cart.
Take it on the road.
In addition to curbside oil and filter recycling, Sonoma County has more than 50 drop-off locations where DIYers 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. Zero Waste Sonoma 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 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? While HHW Rover and HHW Events are closed during Shelter-In-Place, the Sonoma County HHW Facility in Petaluma is open Thursday, Friday and Saturday, 7:30am-2:30pm. Sonoma County residents can drop off a maximum of 15 gallons or 125 pounds of contaminated oil and other HHW for free at the Petaluma Facility with ID to prove residency. Visit the Sonoma County HHW Facility site 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!