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Why Should You Recycle Your Used Oil Filter?

Local resident recycling her used oil filter

Did you know that one used oil filter has an average of 10 fluid ounces of motor oil trapped inside it?

Many people know that they can and should recycle their used motor oil, but they may not know that your used oil filter also contains used motor oil, as well as steel, both of which can be recycled so that they don’t contaminate our local environment and take up space in local landfills.   CalRecycle reports that more than two million gallons of motor oil from these filters are being disposed of improperly each year in California. Recycled used motor oil can be re-refined and used again, ensuring that it doesn’t contaminate our local waterways.  It only takes one gallon of used oil to contaminate one million gallons of drinking water!

I Love A Clean San Diego has partnered with cities in the area to provide an incentive to residents to properly dispose of used oil filters by providing a replacement filter for free when they bring their old filters to one of the events below.

If you can’t attend one of these events, there are more than 300 locations in San Diego County that accept used oil filters year-round for recycling at no charge. These locations, most of them auto parts and repair stores known as Certified Collection Centers, will also accept up to five gallons of used motor oil at no charge. In addition, Certified Collection Centers will pay residents 40 cents per gallon of used motor oil, upon request. Motor oil can’t be contaminated with water or other liquids such as antifreeze, solvents, or gasoline. If you have contaminated motor oil or more than five gallons of non-contaminated motor oil, you must visit a household hazardous waste collection facility.

For more information on where to recycle used motor oil and oil filters, visit I Love A Clean San Diego’s one stop recycling resource, We encourage all San Diegans to visit our recycling website to learn more about similar events held countywide!

Upcoming Oil Filter Exchange Events:

Bring your old filter and receive a new one for free! Limit one free filter per person.

Chula Vista
Saturday, January 28, 2012 from 9am – 1pm
Pep Boys at 454 Broadway Ave.

El Cajon
Saturday, February 4, 2012 from 9am – 1pm
Pep Boys at 201 Jamacha Rd.

Saturday, February 11, 2012 from 9am – 1pm
Pep Boys at 10041 Mission Gorge Rd.

Lemon Grove
Saturday February 18, 2012 from 9am – 1pm
O’Reilly Auto Parts at 6925 Federal Blvd.

La Mesa
Saturday February 25, 2012 from 9am – 1pm
O’Reilly Auto Parts at 5350 Jackson Dr.

National City
Saturday March 3, 2012 from 9am – 1pm
O’Reilly Auto Parts at 1202 E. Plaza Blvd.


  1. I think it’s great that San Diego makes it so convenient to recycle oil filters. Hopefully other major metropolitan areas will get on board with this idea.

  2. Thanks for checking out our blog Tony! Yes, we hope San Diego sets an example for other major cities!

  3. Thank for the great info on the oil filters recycling

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