Used Oil and Oil Filters



Changing Oil Too Often? You may be wasting time and money by changing your oil more frequently than necessary. Review your owner’s manual for manufacturer’s suggested oil change frequency. CalRecycle has a website that shows manufacturers’ suggested frequency: 

  • Why recycle used oil? One quart of improperly disposed oil can pollute over 250,000 gallons of drinking water.
  • American Petroleum Institute re-refined oil, which is recycled from used oil, has been proven to be equal to or better than oil made from virgin base stock.
  • It takes only one gallon of used oil to make 2.5 quarts of re-refined oil; however, it takes 42 gallons of crude oil to make 2.5 quarts of virgin oil.
  • Don’t forget to buy re-refined oil! It encourages oil recycling programs to grow and cuts our consumption of non-renewable resources.
  • Oil filters are manufactured from high grade steel and are recyclable.

source: CalRecycle and the American Petroleum Institute (API)

  • Residents
  • Businesses

Oil Enhancement Act

The California Oil Recycling Enhancement Act, administered by the Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle), is a law designed to discourage the illegal disposal of used oil. Effective January 1, 2010, Senate Bill (SB) 546 (Lowenthal) took effect, making significant changes to the California Oil Recycling Enhancement Act. Changes include restructuring the lubricating oil recycling fee and the used oil recycling incentive payment system, streamlining the used oil grant programs, promoting the production and use of re-refined oil, changes to the used oil certified collection center program, and various changes to the handling and management of used oil. See for CalRecycle’s program news, updates, new procedures and forms.

Re-refined Oil Information

Re-refined base oil is the end product of a long process involving used oils. These oils are first cleansed of their contaminants– such as dirt, water, fuel, and used additives—through vacuum distillation. The oil is then hydro-treated to remove any remaining chemicals. This process is very similar to what traditional oil refineries do to refined base oil from crude oil. Finally, the re-refined base oil is combined with a fresh additive package by the blender.

Is Re-refined Oil as good as virgin oil? YES. Test after test has shown that an API certified re-refined oil is of equal or better quality than an oil made from a virgin base stock. API licensed re-refined oils must pass the same cold start and pump-ability tests, rust corrosion tests, engine wear tests, high temperature, oil thickening tests, deposit tests, and phosphorous tests that virgin oils do. 

Will Re-refined Oil affect my warranty or hurt my engine? NO and NO. Vehicle and engine manufacturers such as Ford, GM, Chrysler and Mercedes Benz have all gone on record to state that using API-certified re-refined oil does not affect warranty coverage. In fact, Mercedes-Benz uses re-refined oil to fill new cars at their factories!

Does Re-refined Oil cost more? There is no real price difference between re-refined and virgin oils. In fact, re-refined oil may sometimes be a few cents per quart cheaper. The final cost is dependent on factors such as blend, quantity and supplier.

How many times can oil be re-refined? Used oil can be re-refined over and over with no compromise in the quality of the lubricant. Remember: oil doesn’t wear out, it just gets dirty and re-refining makes it clean again.

This information above is offered as a public service in an effort to eliminate illegal and improper waste disposal. As the information may not be comprehensive, the Department encourages the public to research additional companies that are available for the services sought. The companies are not affiliated, endorsed or regulated by the Department. Accordingly, as with any professional service, please confirm the accuracy of the company’s information and request copies or verification of the company's license and/or permits to provide the service, prior to utilizing its services. Under no circumstances, directly or indirectly, shall the Department be held responsible or liable for reliance on this information.  If you would like to include your company on the list, please contact or call (951) 486-3200.