Park It at the Curb: Used Oil and Filter Recycling in Sonoma County

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! Call Zero Waste Sonoma at 707-565-3375 ahead of time to get a free reusable motor oil filter drainer, like the one in the picture below, delivered to your home.

Oil Change Filter Drainer

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.

Sonoma oil

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. Both the oil and the filter should be placed in an area that is visible for the driver to see them.

Windsor:
Sonoma County Resource Recovery customers can request a free container and zip-lock 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 zip-lock bag. Place materials on the curb next to your recycling cart so it is visible for the driver to see it 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. Customers can order a free oil kit with an oil recycling container and zip closure bag when they call ahead. On the day of service, set sealed oil container and filter bag next to the recycling cart.

Take it on the road.
In addition to curbside oil and filter recycling, Sonoma County has more than 50 drop-off locations where residents can take their used motor oil and filters for free, including auto parts stores, repair shops and recycling yards. 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. Most sites accept up to five gallons of used motor oil and two oil filters. 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? The Sonoma County HHW Facility in Petaluma is open Thursday, Friday and Saturday, 7:30am-2:30pm and the HHW Rover and HHW Events are now available again. Sonoma County residents can drop off a maximum of 15 gallons or 125 pounds of contaminated oil and other HHW off 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, 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.