Antifreeze contains ethylene glycol, which is poisonous when ingested; it is especially toxic to curious children and household pets. Waste antifreeze may also contain heavy metals such as lead, cadmium, and chromium in high enough levels to make it a regulated hazardous waste. The best solution for antifreeze is to properly recycle it. Recycling antifreeze is cost-effective since recycled antifreeze is less expensive than virgin antifreeze. Recycling also saves resources-ethylene glycol is produced from natural gas, a non-renewable resource.
How to recycle
Carefully pour the used antifreeze into a clean, plastic milk jug and screw the lid on tightly. DON’T mix motor oil or antifreeze with any other material (no water, brake fluid, solvents). If you have curbside recycling service at your home you may place the container of used antifreeze next to your recycling bins. (Some multifamily complexes prohibit do-it-yourself vehicle maintenance - check with your manager). If you do not have curbside recycling or live in a multifamily complex that prohibits do-it-yourself vehicle maintenance, your used antifreeze may be taken to any Household Hazardous Waste collection facility or event; see collection information below.
Where does it go next?
Antifreeze is sent to special facilities for recycling. All waste antifreeze recycling methods involve two steps: 1) removing contaminants either by filtration, distillation, reverse osmosis, or ion exchange and 2) restoring critical antifreeze properties with additives. It is estimated that only 12% of all waste antifreeze generated in the United States is recycled each year
Free Household Hazardous Waste Disposal
If you are a resident of Clark County or one of its cities, you may dispose of unwanted household hazardous waste products at any of the following HHW collection programs. Business-generated hazardous waste will not be accepted.
Eligible senior and citizens with disabilities who are unable to transport HHW to a collection site or event may call (360) 397-6118 ext. 4352 to see if they qualify for a free home pick up.
Fixed Collection Facilities
- Central Transfer and Recycling Center - Brush Prairie
- Washougal Transfer Station - Washougal
- West Van Materials Recovery Center - Vancouver
Satellite Collection Events