Oil Filter Recycling

Today’s C & C column discussed the oil change vendor charging to “recycle” the customer’s oil filter. If it had been me, I would have asked to take the used oil filter with me, store it in my garage until I had a half-dozen, and then take them to my county’s recycling center along with used motor oil. My county (Anoka, MN) doesn’t charge to bring in old oil filters.

You can change your own oil and filter, and then take the used lube oil and filter to the landfill where, in most cases there are facilities to drop off this stuff. My city has used oil tanks, old gasoline & diesel tanks, and a place for used oil filters. There’s also a bin for the old plastic jugs and bottles that your oil came in. All at no charge; presumably it’s recovered out of property taxes.

I always liked to burn them in the shop stove,I can do this because I genrally take care of the oil changes-Kevin

This is one of those things that depends on where you live. Where I am, they still just say to let them drain out for a few days and then throw them away.

I’d call your local environmental quality board (or water board or whoever handles hazardous waste) and see what the regulations are where you live-- if the shop charges you a recycling fee and then throws them out I’d definitely complain. I have a feeling that they’re not going to give your old filter back though-- if you ask they’ll probably either just wave the fee or tell you to take a hike. Always worth asking, though!

There is the possibility that they will charge to recycle the filter even if you take it with you. Where I live that is the way it is with tires. They will pick the up for free at the curb, but you pay the price when you buy new ones anyway.

I had to take training for hazardous waste handling and disposal for my job. And the rules for used oil filters are, 1. If the used filter is crushed and allowed to drain for 8 hours it can be disposed of in the trash. 2. If the used filter isn’t crushed, it should be turned up-side-down and allowed to drain for 36 hours, and then it can be disposed of in the trash.


Some States don’t allow facilities to charge a disposal fee and NY is one of them. If a customer came in and asked for their filter for any reason I would have no problem giving it to them. We get paid for our used oil but get charged for recycling our containers and filters.