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Waste Oil & Filter Recycling

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What is waste oil?

Any oil that has been refined from crude oil and has been used is waste oil. Waste oil includes oil from cars, trucks, boats, motorcycles, recreational vehicles, and lawn mowers. In California, waste oil is considered a hazardous waste.

Why recycle waste oil?

Oil poured into the trash, down household drains, into storm drains, or directly onto the ground can work its way into and pollute groundwater, streams, rivers, and lakes. Insoluble, persistent, and slow to degrade, waste oil contains toxic chemicals and heavy metals and sticks to everything from beach sand to bird feathers. Waste oil from a single oil change can ruin a million gallons of fresh water – a year’s supply for 50 people. One pint of oil can produce a one-acre slick on surface water.

Today, almost 60% of the nation’s automobile oil is changed by consumers themselves. According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency, consumers who change their own oil generate at least 200 million gallons of waste oil and throw away 120 million gallons of recoverable oil every year. Recycling this oil would save the United States 1.3 million barrels of oil per day and reduce our dependence on foreign oil. It takes 42 gallons of crude oil, but only one gallon of used oil, to produce 2 ½ quarts of new lubricating oil.

Recycling waste oil preserves a valuable, non-renewable natural resource as used motor oil can be re-refined into new lubricants, burned as fuel, or re-refined and made into a high-quality motor oil for your vehicles.

How should waste oil be recycled?

Drain used motor oil from your vehicle into an oil drain pan or a clean plastic container with a tight lid. The container should hold no more than five gallons (20 quarts). Oil pans are available weekdays at the Burbank Recycle Center at no charge by visiting the Administration Building. The free recycled plastic oil drain pans are provided by California Integrated Waste Management Board grant funds.

Waste oil must be pure and uncontaminated. Please do not mix waste oil with anything (anti-freeze, paint, gasoline, solvent, etc.).

Pour the used oil down the sink in the Used Oil Center at the Burbank Recycle Center. The oil will drain into an 850-gallon above-ground storage tank.

If you are not using an oil drain pan, let the empty container drain into the above ground tank.

As with other hazardous wastes, improper disposal of used oil (into sewers, storm drains, trash bins, etc.) is illegal.

The used oil center is open 8 a.m. - 5 p.m., Monday through Friday and closed Saturdays.

Call 1-800-CLEANLA for a list of other waste oil centers by zip code. There are seven state-certified used oil center in Burbank, of which the Recycle Center is one.

Waste oil can also be taken to Household Hazardous Waste permanent collection sites or annual roundups.

The Recycle Center's Used Oil Center also accepts anti-freeze.

Cash for waste oil

State law entitles you to receive 10 cents per quart for waste oil. For reimbursement, speak to an attendant before emptying waste oil containers. The Burbank Recycle Center is reimbursed by the State for waste oil that is recycled.

The Burbank Recycle Center is a State-certified oil recycling center and has been recycling waste oil since 1983. State-certified centers may not charge a fee to accept used oil and must offer 10 cents per quart for the return of used oil. Contact the Burbank Recycle Center at (818) 238-3900 for further information.

Note: By law, you may not dispose of or recycle more than 15 gallons of oil in one trip. The oil must be in containers of 5 gallons or less. 

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