Seal It Up & Drop It Off: Recycling Used Oil & Filters in Sacramento

Change your own oil and filters? 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 the 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 the City of Sacramento for this post, the options are similar no matter where you live in 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. Residents can pick up free, reusable oil and filter drainer containers like the ones in the picture below at upcoming Riders Recycle events in Sacramento. 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 materials 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) Facility (read more below).

Take it on the road.
Sacramento has 50 Certified Collection Centers (CCCs) where residents can take their used motor oil and filters for free (and some will even pay you 40¢ a gallon), including auto parts stores, repair shops and recycling yards. Most centers will take up to 5 gallons of used oil at a time. Always call ahead to verify hours and limitations, and make sure to give your sealed used oil and filters to a staff member. 

Park it at the curb.
City of Sacramento residents can conveniently recycle used motor oil and filters at the curb with an appointment. Call Customer Service at 311 or (916) 264-5011 to schedule your appointment up to 48 hours before the next regularly scheduled recycling day. A maximum of two (2) gallons of used oil are accepted per appointment. Pour used oil in a clean, clear one-gallon plastic jug (like a milk or water jug) and secure the cap with tape. Put your drained oil filter in a sealed, leak-proof bag with the holes up. Place sealed containers at the end of your driveway by 6:00am for pickup on your appointment day.

Mixed up?
If your used motor oil is mixed with other materials, you have more than five gallons of used motor oil, or you have other hazardous waste such as batteries and brake fluid, you can take it to the Household Hazardous Waste Facility located at the Sacramento Recycling and Transfer Station (8491 Fruitridge Rd). Open Tuesday through Saturday, 8am to 5pm, the Sacramento HHW Facility also has a Reuse Store with free paints, cleaners and other household products available to the public!

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!