Motor Oil Disposal

Across the United States, more than 16 million gallons of motor oil is disposed of improperly every month. By way of a comparison, that is more than was lost in the 1989 Exxon Valdez supertanker spill off the coast of Alaska.
Vehicles generate at least 2.5 gallons of used oil per year. Statistics show that about one-half of vehicle owners maintain their own vehicles but that no more than 15 percent recycle their oil.  Conservatively, that equates more than 5,000,000 gallons of used oil per year being placed into the environment in landfills, sewers, waterways, and vacant lots.
What Should You Do With Used Oil?
  • Transfer your used motor oil to a clean leak-proof plastic container with a screw-on top (milk jug, empty oil container, etc.) and put the top on firmly to prevent leaking and spilling.
  • Properly dispose of your used oil right away.  If you let it sit around, you run the risk of the container either leaking or being punctured.
  • Prior to discarding your used oil filter, punch an air hole in the dome end of the filter.  Also, puncture the anti-drain back valve (if present) located at the flat end of the filter.  Allow the oil to drain from the filter for several hours.  Combine this oil with the rest of your used motor oil for recycling.  Drained oil filters are not hazardous waste.  Double wrap the filter and put it in the garbage can for disposal.
  • Never dispose of used motor oil on the ground, in a ditch, creek, river, lake, storm sewer or the garbage.
  • Do not  mix used motor oil with anything else, such as gasoline, solvents, antifreeze, pesticides, etc.  Clean (uncontaminated) used motor oil is easily recycled.

Recycling used motor oil is a critical step in conserving this valuable non-renewable resource.  Finding the proper collection point for used oil is the first step.

Jefferson County residents can recycle clean used motor oil at the following locations:

  1. Recycle Center, Jacob Miller Road, during business hours: Monday-Saturday, 9 am to 4:30 pm. 360-385-0404
  2. Port Ludlow Marina Store, 1 Gull Dr., Port Ludlow, open during marina business hours: Sunday through Thursday, 8 am to 8 pm; Friday and Saturday, 8 am to 7 pm 360-437-0513
  3. Quilcene Solid Waste Drop-Box site, 295312 Highway 101, Quilcene, WA 98376, Monday, Wednesday and Friday, 1 pm to 5 pm; Saturday, 9 am to 5 pm. 360-765-3051
  4. Household Hazardous Waste Facility  located in Building #19, Port of Port Townsend Boat Haven. Open Fridays, 10 am to 12 pm and 12:30 pm to 4:30 pm. 360-385-9160