RECYCLING USED OIL FILTERS AT HOME
If You Change Your Own Oil, Be Sure to Recycle Your Used Oil FiltersWhile most used oil filters were just thrown in the trash just a short time ago, today we know they’re recyclable. Some states have banned used oil filters from the landfill while others have placed restrictions on how they can be discarded. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency requires used oil filters be drained of all free-flowing oil before they are discarded or recycled, all in the interest of protecting the environment and your local community. As a responsible do-it-yourself home mechanic who changes your own oil and oil filter, you can help protect the environment, too.
What Can I Do?Collect and recycle your used oil. Store the oil in an empty steel or plastic container–but not one that was used previously used to store chemicals–and take it to a service station or special waste recycling center that accepts used oil. Never pour used oil down any type of drain, into a sanitary sewer or on the ground. Recycle your used oil filter Used oil filters are recyclable because they’re made of steel, North America’s number one recycled material. And they are recycled today into new steel products, such as steel cans, cars, appliances and construction materials. Recycling all the filters sold annually in the United States would recover about 160,000 tons of steel, or enough steel to make 16 new stadiums the size of Atlanta’s Olympic Stadium.
Steps to Recycling Oil FiltersThe steps on the next page show you how to recycle your used oil filter. By following these directions, you’ll recycle more of your motor oil, and the oil filter will be recycled into a new steel product. Remove the filter from the engine to “hot-drain” it while the engine is still warm. Hot draining is defined as draining the oil filter at or near engine operating temperature but above 60 degrees Fahrenheit.
WARNING: Use extreme caution when hot-draining filters to avoid burns. Wear protective equipment such as safety glasses and gloves.
Using a tool such as a screwdriver, carefully puncture the dome end of the filter. Then, turn the filter upside down so it can drain completely into your container for used oil recycling. Allow the filter to drain overnight (or a minimum of 12 hours) to remove all the oil. Recycle used oil and drained oil filters at your local garage or special waste recycling center. Check with your local service station or contact your city or county recycling official for information about collection centers. Some auto parts stores also accept used oil and drained filters for recycling.
Recycling all the oil filters sold in a year would yield about 160,000 tons of steel. That’s enough steel to build sixteen new stadiums the size of Atlanta's Turner Field.