Used Motor Oil and Filters

Alternative ways to recycle
Illegal in Garbage & Drains
Special Instructions

Used motor oil and filters can be disposed of with your curbside collection.

  1. Put used motor oil in a 2.5 gallon container provided by the City of Santa Cruz. To receive a free 2.5 gallon oil container, call (831) 420-5220. Do not mix used motor oil with antifreeze, gasoline or other contaminants.
  2. Place drained filters in ziplock bag.
  3. Leave the motor oil container and bagged filters next to blue recycling cart — not inside!

Used oil and filters can also be disposed of at the Resource Recovery Facility. We do not accept 55 gallon drums. Absolutely NO solvents.

storm drain

Don't Dump in Trash or Down Drain

Used motor oil is a major contaminant of waterways, so never dump down the drain or in the trash. Filters also leak toxic materials into waterways, which are slow to break down in the environment.


Never Mix with Other Chemicals

Service stations will not accept motor oil that has been contaminated with other products like antifreeze. Don’t mix your motor oil with anything else.

Alternative Ways to Recycle

Take to Service Stations

The best way to recycle used motor oil and filters is to take them to a service station or auto shop. Find one that’s certified.

Did You Know?

What Happens to Recycled Motor Oil

Used motor oil can be cleaned and recycled, which helps keep it out of waterways. Recycled oil is then used to make heating oil, asphalt and other petroleum-based products. It is usually not recycled and resold as motor oil.