Discarded oil filters contain nearly 25.5 million gallons of used motor oil and 233,750 tons of steel. It is estimated that nationwide, more than 100 million gallons of used oil are disposed of in old filters. After draining for 12 hours, an oil filter can still contain three to 16 ounces of oil. A single cup of used oil is enough to contaminate 62,000 gallons of drinking water. Most of these filters (almost 80 percent) are disposed of in landfills. Discarding used oil filters in landfills poses a threat to the environment because the oil remaining in the filters can seep into the environment. It also consumes 76,500 cubic yards of landfill space and wastes valuable oil and steel that could be recovered through recycling.
To prepare for recycling
Oil filters should be drained and the oil recycled. Simply puncture the top of the filter, turn it upside down and drain for 24 hours. Place the drained filter into a leak-proof container (coffee can with lid or plastic bag or bucket that can be sealed) for safe transporting to a drop-off site.
For proper disposal
Oil filters may be taken to any Household Hazardous Waste collection facility or event; see collection information below
Where does it go next?
Used oil filters contain three materials (oil, filter media and steel) that can be recycled or reused. Used oil can be re-refined into lower grades of lubricating oils or sent to fuel blending facilities as an alternative fuel. The spent filter media can be sent to a treatment facility that incinerates the material and uses the heat from the process to generate electricity. The steel scrap can be smelted to produce new steel products such as cans, cars, appliances and construction materials. By recycling all the oil filters sold annually in the United States, enough steel would be recovered to make 16 new stadiums the size of Atlanta&rquo;s Turner Stadium. When used to make new steel, a ton of steel scrap conserves 2,500 pounds of iron ore, 1,400 pounds of coal and 120 pounds of limestone and nearly 11 million Btu's of energy.
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
Satellite Collection Events