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When it comes to oil filter recycling, it’s important to know that oil filters are made out of steel—the #1 most recycled material in North America! If you like to save money and change your own motor oil, you usually change your oil filter at the same time.
When used oil is disposed of properly, we all benefit- local communities and ecosystems, particularly groundwater, stay clean. In most states, motor oil is not considered hazardous by the EPA, but be sure to research local guidelines in your state to be sure. Here is a handy link to find those guidelines for each state.
Some states have banned used oil filters from going to landfills, while others have placed restrictions on how they can be discarded. To find out what the specific requirements for oil filter recycling in your state are, call the Used Filter Recycling Hotline at 1-800-99-FILTER (993-4583). California alone generates 67 million used automotive oil filters per year. Imagine how that adds up across the U.S.!
Use the information on recycling motor oil to find places that recycle oil and ask if they also accept oil filters for recycling. Also call ahead to businesses near you that may be currently collecting used oil filters, such as auto parts stores, oil change locations, and other service outlets.
Why Recycling Oil Filters is Important
In addition to the benefits of recycling steel, each oil filter has on average more than 10 fluid ounces of used motor oil, even after draining. This trapped motor oil adds up to millions of gallons of used oil going into the environment, the water system or into landfills each year from filters that aren’t properly recycled. Oil recovered from the recycled filters is made back into motor oil, closing the recycling loop.
Oil Filter Recycling in Action
Thermo Fluids Inc., based out of Arizona, continues to see demand for its services as more repair shops seek alternatives and the auto industry becomes more sustainable. Thermo Fluids became the state’s first home for oil filter recycling. Plastic is removed and the steel is pressed into boxes for reuse.