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Where can you bring used anti-freeze?

This has been an issue for me for many years, and it’s why I’ve always brought my cars to a shop for cooling system related work.

I have never been able to figure out where to bring used anti-freeze.

Auto stores will accept back used oils, and I’ve successfully returned motor oil, transmission fluid, gear oil and even brake fluid.

The same goes for the last few towns I’ve lived in, they will accept oils, but specifically not anti-freeze.

Where can I bring this stuff???

In my community, there are companies that collect anitreeze from repair shops for recycling/disposal. I called one of these companies and they had me take mine to one of their customers (a local mechanic shop) who agreed to take it.

I also contacted the county department of heatlh and human services, which in my case manages hazardous waste disposal. They referred me to a city department of public works, which is the department that manages waste and recycling. As it turns out, their fleet maintenance group also takes used antifreeze from county residents.

You might check with such organizations in your area to see whether or not they offer similar services. It’s a pain to deal with this stuff. I had been storing about 10 gallons of used antifreeze in my garage before I found these places.

When I asked Autozone if they’d take my used anti-freeze they said no, but that the local Jiffy Lube would. Indeed, I drove to Jiffy Lube and after I explained the situation they let me pour the fluid into their collection container. My suggestion is to ask Jiffy Lube. Others will warn you not to go there even for directions, but this worked out for me.

Where I live, you can pour the used antifreeze down the drain. The waste treatment plant takes care of it after that. Check with you local municipality for regulations of disposal of used antifreeze. However, if you have a septic system, DO NOT pour the used antifreeze down the drain.


I recall this causing a major argument years ago on this board, but the official policy in many communities is still you just dilute it heavily and pour it down the drain. Even if you take it to a recycling center, that’s usually more or less what they do to it. Part of the reason why there aren’t as many places that take used antifreeze is that the EPA doesn’t technically consider it hazardous waste. The main hazard is animals drinking it, but this has more to do with it’s sweet taste which encourages them to drink it in large quantities as opposed to it being spectacularly poisonous.

You need to call your local sewer utility before you do this because the amount you can pour down per day and how much you should dilute it depends on what kind of waste water treatment they’re using, but you generally want to dilute it at 3:1 (assuming the coolant itself is already a 50:50 mix) and you can do no more than 10 gallons a day. Also, you definitely do not want to do this if you have a septic tank as it will kill the little microorganisms that treat your waste.

I have been told it was ok in a sanitary sewer in our municipality, such as a toilet or basement floor drain (if you know it connects to the sanitary sewer collection system, though many don’t) as it will be treated. NEVER a stormdrain or catch basin in the street as that will be an environmental big no no. It will go untreated into fresh water systems. Many places offer hazardous waste disposal programs including antifreeze, please check out options and follow any local recommendations.

Don’t forget if you have pets they can be attracted to antifreeze, because the glycol tastes sweet, and ingestion therof could prove harmful.

Take your used antifreeze to that same dealer you speak of for disposal. Our ford dealer accepts used fluids from everyone.