Finish the Job Right: Used Oil and Filter Recycling in San Francisco

Doing your own oil change is a great way to protect your engine. Whether you’ve got a Yamaha V-Star 650 Cruiser, a Dry-Sump Suzuki DR350 Enduro, a BMW R1150RT 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 all the oil into a clean, 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, make sure to take it to your local Household Hazardous (HHW) Facility (see below).

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. Most sites accept up to five gallons of used motor oil. Always call the drop-off location first to verify hours and limitations.

Mixed up?
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? You can drop it off at Recology’s HHW Collection Facility or schedule a free pickup by calling (415)330-1405. Learn more about the Household Hazardous Waste Program here.

For more useful info on motorcycles, DIY oil changing, or where to recycle oil and filter in a different California city or county – check out our other Riders Recycle blog posts or drop-off locations page! Riders Recycle is funded by CalRecycle.