Recycle your used motor oil and filters the right way

Used Oil Recycling Center

For more than two decades, the City of College Station has operated an unmanned, always open, do-it-yourself recycling center for used motor oil and filters. When this public facility opened in the early 1990s behind the College Station Police Department, it was the only one of its kind in the area.

In its existence, the facility has collected more than 45,000 gallons of used motor oil. Regrettably, that’s not all that’s been poured into the collection tanks.

Since the center is unmanned, it’s become a go-to spot for illegal dumping and improper disposal of household hazardous wastes such as paints, mystery chemicals and acids. This misuse has created health and environmental hazards, not to mention unnecessary cleanup costs and a loss of revenue due to contaminated oil.

Since several area businesses now operate manned oil and filter recycling facilities, the city has decided to permanently close the Used Motor Oil/Filter Public Recycling Center on July 31.

Why is recycling oil important?

Used motor oil can be re-refined as a lubricant that’s as good as new oil. From a 42-gallon barrel of crude oil, refineries can produce just one quart of new motor oil. A single gallon of used, recycled motor oil yields the same amount.

Unfortunately, mixing contaminantswith used motor oilcan create hazardous substances, making recycling extremely difficult and sometimes impossible.

Used oil filters can also be recycled into rebar fence posts and other steel products. Like used oil, the material remains useful after its original purpose is finished.

Regardless, recycling is the only proper and legal way to dispose of used motor oil and filters. These items are banned from landfills and can’t be placed in garbage carts or dumpsters.

Where do I recycle my used oil and filters?

As a do-it-yourselfer myself, I understand the importance of knowing where you can take these items. Several locations throughout the BCS area will gladly accept used oil and filters. Here are three that are located less than two miles from the city’s used oil recycling center:

  • Advance Auto Parts
    Accepts car batteries and used oil.
    204 Harvey Rd.
  • Kwik Kar Oil & Lube Center
    Accepts antifreeze, car batteries, oil filters, used oil, and transmission fluid.
    1411-B Harvey Rd.
  • Walmart Automotive
    Accepts car batteries, used oil, and filters.
    1815 Brothers Blvd.

A complete listing can be found at

Many of these facilities have quantity limits, so avoid storing large volumes of used oil and filters and taking them all at once. Instead, make a trip after each oil change to your nearest used oil and filter recycle center.

Household Hazardous Waste

Twice a year, the cities of College Station and Bryan partner with Twin Oaks Landfill for a household hazardous waste disposal event. Not only is this event free and open to all residents of the Brazos Valley, but it’s also a fast and convenient way to dispose of old paint and chemicals – not to mention oil and oil filters – that take up valuable space in your garage or attic.

Visit to find out what materials are accepted at Household Hazardous Waste events, and how to become a volunteer. For more information, call 979-764-6229 or email me at

Click the arrow below to hear or download my podcast about recycling used oil:


Heather L. Qualls
Heather Woolwine
Recycling Coordinator | Public Works

One thought on “Recycle your used motor oil and filters the right way

  1. Thanks for pointing out how recycling used motor oil is the only legal way to dispose of it. I have an old car that I would like to sell off, but first I would like to handle the used oil I have for the vehicle. I will find a place I can recycle it so I can be sure I am getting rid of it safely.

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