Planning an oil change but not sure what to do with your used motor oil and filter? 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 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 used oil and filters a little differently to guarantee they will get picked up. Find your city or town below for details.
City of Napa and Southern Unincorporated Napa County (Airport Industrial Area, American Canyon around Green Island Rd., Carneros, Coombsville, Edgerly Island, Mt. Veeder/Redwood Rd., Silverado Country Club):
For Napa Recycling and Waste Services/Napa County Recycling and Waste Services customers in the cities/towns above, call 707-255-5200 to sign up for the curbside oil and filter recycling program and reserve a used oil container and oil filter bag. The containers hold 2.25 gallons of oil, and two filters will fit in the bag. When you are ready for a pickup, call 707-255-5200 for an appointment, so the drivers look for your oil container and filter bag set-out next to your recycling cart. They will leave a replacement oil container and filter bag for your next oil change.
City of American Canyon:
Recology American Canyon customers can recycle used oil curbside but not used oil filters at this time. Call 707-552-3110 ahead of time for free oil recycling jugs. Up to two gallons of used oil may be recycled every week. Place sealed used motor oil jugs next to your carts for pickup on collection day and a new oil jug will be left at the curb for your next oil change.
Calistoga, St. Helena, Yountville, and Unincorporated Northern Napa County (Angwin, Deer Park, Howell Mountain, Oakville, Pope Valley, and Rutherford):
Upper Valley Disposal Services customers above can call 707-963-7988 ahead of time to request a two-gallon motor oil recycling container and an oil filter bag for curbside/roadside collection. Call ahead for pickup on your regular service day and place the sealed containers next to your cart.
Take it on the road.
If you don’t have curbside oil and filter recycling, Napa County has several drop-off locations where DIYers 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? The Napa-Vallejo Household Hazardous Waste Facility is open to the public Friday and Saturday 9am-4pm, though all visitors to the site are required to remain in their vehicles as workers wearing protective equipment unload wastes. Napa County residents can drop off a maximum of 15 gallons or 125 pounds of contaminated oil and other HHW for free at the Napa HHW Facility. Visit the Napa-Vallejo Household Hazardous Waste Facility site beforehand to confirm hours and requirements.
If you live up valley, the Upper Valley Waste Management Agency sponsors twice-yearly household hazardous waste collection events in St. Helena and Calistoga. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to request information on the next event.
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.