Used motor oil, or 'sump oil', should not be put in your recycling or garbage bins at home because it is a hazardous waste item. Used oil should be taken to a designated collection point so it can be cleaned and reused. Use the directory below to find a drop-off point near you.
Oil - Used Motor
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How to recycle used motor oil
When changing the oil in your car or other motors such as lawnmowers, boats or chainsaws, be sure to dispose of it correctly so it doesn’t pollute water ways and soil. Pour the used motor oil into an empty oil container and take it to your local used oil facility for recycling. Call the facility to see if they will accept your oil filters and oily rags.
Many council facilities such as transfer stations, waste management centres or landfill sites accept used motor oil. You may be able to drop off used oil through household chemical clean out programs run by your council or state government.
Your local petrol station may also accept used motor oil for recycling.
Why should I recycle used motor oil?
Oil is a valuable and finite resource, but it can also be hazardous when disposed of incorrectly. Lubricating oil picks up a variety of hazardous contaminants when used in engines and transmissions including lead, dioxins, benzene, and polycyclic aromatics. Leaving used oil sitting in your garage is also a potential fire hazard.
A single automotive oil change produces 4 to 5 litres of used oil. If it is not handled properly, the oil can pollute water ways and it only takes one litre of oil to contaminate one million litres of water.
What happens to the oil when I recycle it?
Recycled used oil can be used as an industrial burner fuel, hydraulic oil, incorporated into other products, or re-refined back into new lubricating oil.
In 2001, Australia introduced a national recycling scheme for used oil. Since then, the amount of oil collected and recycled has risen from none to more than 320 million litres of base lubricating oil every year. That’s equivalent to 160 Olympic size swimming pools!
Learn about the Product Stewardship for Oil Program.
Source information: Dept. of the Climate Change, Energy, the Environment and Water.