Why Recycle Oil?

So, what do you do with used motor oil and filters? Recycle them!

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Why Recycle?

For the Environment:
Every year approximately 13 million gallons of motor oil that has been sold to the public is unaccounted for. California has no record of that motor oil being recycled. What happens to it? Maybe it is disposed of improperly…thrown down the storm drain, poured down the drain, poured on to a patch in the back yard, or thrown into the garbage.

Each of these methods of disposal is not only illegal, it is toxic to our environment! Used motor oil contains such contaminants as lead, magnesium, copper, zinc, and arsenic!

If these contaminants reach the ground, they can seep into our water supply and cause serious pollution. If they are released into our storm drain system they get washed away with the next rains directly into the ocean!

For the Economy:

  • Used motor oil and filters are very recyclable.
  • Oil only gets dirty, not worn down. It can be cleaned and used over and over again.
  • Used oil can be re-refined into new engine oil, or processed into fuel for heating.
  • Not only does recycling oil help stop pollution, but it also conserves resources and decreases the demand for new crude oil.The steel components in oil filters are highly recyclable, too!

For the Ease:

  • Recycling used motor oil and filters is easy!
  • There are dozens of local businesses that will accept your used motor oil and filters FREE of charge.
  • And you are eligible for a $.40 per gallon rebate.

Don’t Dump Used Motor Oil and Filters!

  • Every gallon of used motor oil that is improperly disposed of by throwing it into the trash, pouring it down a storm drain, or out on the ground pollutes our environment.
  • If one gallon of motor oil enters our coastal ocean waters it can create an oil slick larger than one acre. That same gallon of used motor oil can make 1,000,000 gallons of fresh water undrinkable.
  • Oil dumped on the ground reduces soil productivity.
  • In the U.S., less than 60 percent of used oil is recycled.

Do Recycle Your Used Motor Oil and Filters!

  • 1 in 5 households have a do-it-yourself (DIY) oil changer.
  • As of July 2004, there are more than 2,600 State-certified collection centers and 70 curbside collection programs in California, which accept used oil for free.
  • 2.5 quarts of re-refined lubricating oil can be produced from one gallon of used oil.

Click here to find your nearest Used Oil and Filter recycling locations.

Entonces, ¿Qué es lo que hace uno con el aceite y filtros para motor usados? ¡Reciclarlos!

¿Por qué reciclar?

Por el Medio Ambiente:
Cada año aproximadamente 13 millones de galones de aceite para motor que se han vendido al público no están contabilizados. California no mantiene un registro de que ese motor para aceite se esté reciclando. ¿Qué le sucede a éste? Quizás se desecha impropiamente…tirado por la alcantarílla para tormentas, vaciado en el drenaje, vertido en un lugar en el patio trasero, o tirado en la basura.

Cada uno de estos métodos de desecho no solamente es ilegal, ¡es tóxico para nuestro medio ambiente! ¡El aceite de motor usado contiene tales contaminantes como plomo, magnesio, cobre, zinc, y arsénico!

Si estos contaminantes llegan a la tierra, se pueden colar a nuestro abastecimiento de agua y causar contaminación grave. Si se echan a nuestro sistema de alcantarillas para tormentas, ¡son transportados directamente al océano con la siguiente lluvia!

Por la Economía:

  • El aceite y los filtros usados para motor son muy reciclables.
  • El aceite solamente se ensucia, no se desgasta. Se puede limpiar y usar una y otra vez.
  • El aceite usado se puede refinar como aceite nuevo para motor, o se puede procesar como combustible para calefacción. El reciclar el aceite no solamente ayuda a detener la contaminación, sino que también conserva recursos y disminuye la demanda de aceite crudo nuevo.
  • ¡Los componentes de acero en los filtros de aceite también son muy reciclables!

Por la Facilidad:

  • ¡El reciclar el aceite y los filtros para motor es fácil!
  • Docenas de empresas locales aceptan aceite y filtros para motor GRATUITAMENTE.
  • Y usted es elegible para un reembolso de $.16 por galón. Algunos detallistas (Kragen Auto Parts, por ejemplo) ¡le agradecen a los recicladores con un cupón de descuento para su uso en su siguiente compra!

¡No tire el aceite y los filtros para motor usados!

  • Cada galón de aceite usado para motor que se desecha impropiamente al tirarlo en la basura, vertiéndolo en una alcantarilla para tormentas, o en la tierra contamina nuestro medio ambiente.
  • Si un galón de aceite para motor entra en las aguas de la costa oceánica puede crear una marea negra más grande que un acre. Ese mismo galón de aceite usado para motor puede hacer que un millón de galones de agua fresca no se pueda beber.
  • El aceite que se tira en la tierra reduce la productividad del suelo.
  • En los Estados Unidos, menos del 60% del aceite usado se recicla.

¡Recicle su aceite y filtros para motor usados!

  • 1 de 5 familias tiene una persona que cambia el aceite (DIY).
  • A partir de enero de 2007, hay 21 centros de recaudación certificados por el Estado ubicados en la Ciudad de Torrance y la comunidad circundante, los cuales aceptan aceite usado gratuitamente. ¡Muchas de estas ubicaciones también aceptan filtros de aceite usados!
  • 2.5 cuartos de aceite para lubricación vueltos a refinar se pueden producir de un galón de aceite usado.

Pulse aquí para encontrar las ubicaciones de reciclaje más cercanas de aceite y filtros usados.

Are Hazards Hiding in Your House?


These words are designed to keep people away, yet many common household products are labeled with these warnings and left sitting on shelves or in cabinets long after they are needed. In a typical home, families have about 100 pounds of unwanted hazardous chemicals stored. These unneeded–and often forgotten–items are called “Household Hazardous Waste” (HHW). Take a look around. You probably have HHW that you don’t need, such as old paint, stain, lawn chemicals, bug spray, antifreeze, gasoline, and more.

Gathering and safely disposing of HHW will open up storage space and also make your home safer for your family, as well as emergency responders in case of fire or natural disaster. Plus, it will help us keep our ocean and beaches clean and safe. NEVER place HHW in the trash, recycling, or green waste cart, or pour into the street, gutter, storm drain, or sewer.

Instead, take advantage of Los Angeles County’s FREE, convenient HHW Round-Up Events. In addition to HHW, you can also drop off electronic waste, car batteries, household batteries, fluorescent tubes and bulbs, expired medication, used sharps (in a secure container), and mercury thermometers. HHW Round-Ups are held once a year in Torrance and at least once each quarter in nearby cities: Carson (September), Lomita (December), Hermosa Beach (January), and Gardena (March). All Round-Up events are free and open to all residents of Los Angeles County.

If you don’t want to wait for one-day Round-Up event, you may drop off HHW and electronics year-round at the following nearby locations:

Saturdays and Sundays                                                            2nd & 4th Saturday
9am – 3pm                                                                                   9am – 2pm
Gaffey Street S.A.F.E. Center                                         EDCO Recycling & Transfer
1400 N. Gaffey St.                                                                      2755 California Ave.
San Pedro, 90731                                                                       Signal Hill, 90755

To learn more about all of your HHW disposal options, visit the LA County Department of Public Works or the Sanitation Districts of Los Angeles County.

Walgreens Safe Medication Disposal Program

Walgreens is leading the fight against prescription drug abuse with new programs to help curb the misuse of medications and reduce the rise in overdose deaths. In the ongoing national effort by a retailer, Walgreens has installed safe medication disposal kiosks in over 1,000 pharmacies across 45 states and the District of Columbia. Walgreens safe medication disposal kiosks provide a safe and convenient way to dispose of unwanted, unused, or expired medications at no cost, year-round.

Kiosks are available during regular pharmacy hours and offer one of the best ways to ensure that medications are not accidentally used or intentionally misused by someone else.

The types of medications accepted include:

  • prescription and over-the-counter drugs
  • ointments and creams
  • liquids
  • lotions
  • pet medications
  • vitamins

These items are not accepted at the kiosks:

  • hydrogen peroxide
  • needles
  • inhalers
  • aerosol cans
  • thermometers
  • illegal drugs

There are safe medication disposal kiosks at two Torrance Walgreens stores:

4142 Pacific Coast Highway (corner of Anza & PCH)
Torrance, CA 90505
(310) 375-9019

22930 S. Western Avenue (corner of Western & Sepulveda)
Torrance, CA 90501
(310) 517- 1851

The drug disposal kiosks are only available during pharmacy hours: 8am to 9pm, daily.

For more information, please visit the Walgreens website.

Don’t Forget the Filter! Used Oil Filter Exchange Events Coming to Torrance

As part of the City of Torrance‘s used motor oil recycling program, the City’s Public Works Department is proud to offer four (4) filter exchange events upcoming in Fall 2019 and Spring 2020.



  • All filter exchange events are FREE for Torrance residents.
  • Residents who bring in an old oil filter to recycle will receive a voucher for a new oil filter to redeem in-store that day.
  • Free filters are limited to stock in-store; maximum two new filters when you recycled two old filters; restrictions apply.
  • Residents recycling filters OR used motor oil at this event are eligible to receive a free oil recycling container.


Save the date and visit us at one of our upcoming filter exchange events!

Questions? Please contact the City’s Used Oil Recycling Hotline toll-free at 888-HEY-SLICK.

Download flyer here.

How to Recycle Christmas Trees in the City of Torrance

City of Torrance Offers Free Christmas Tree Recycling!

From December 26, 2018 through January 10, 2019, City of Torrance residents will be able to recycle their Christmas trees along with their regular curbside collection.

Trees must be unflocked (no fake snow), less than six feet long (without cutting), and undecorated (no stands, tinsel, or ornaments). 

How-To: Trees can be up to six (6) feet long without needing to be cut. Then, place the tree at the curb at least four feet from your automated containers by 7:00 a.m. on your regularly scheduled collection day between Monday, December 26, 2016, and Thursday, January 12, 2017.

Other Options: Christmas trees put out for collection before or after the recycling collection dates, or flocked trees (with fake snow), must be cut up and placed in the regular (black) trash container for removal. Unflocked Christmas trees six (6) feet or smaller can be placed directly into the green waste container and will be collected during normal collection times.

Note: The large item collection program will not be available during the curbside Christmas tree recycling program. Remember that it takes at least a week to schedule the large item pick up, so please plan accordingly. For further details visit the Public Works Christmas Tree Recycling webpage.

For multifamily homes, businesses, and those not serviced by Torrance Sanitation, LA City Sanitation offers free tree pick-up and several tree drop-off locations. Please visit their webpage for the dates, locations, and all the details.

For more information, call City of Torrance Public Works Department at 310-781-6900.

What happens to my Christmas trees when they’re recycled?

  • The City of Torrance chops up the Christmas trees they collect and turn them into mulch and landfill cover. The City offers free mulch giveaways year-round at Lago Seco Park. Visit the Public Works Department for more details.

Is there a more eco-friendly, sustainable option for Christmas trees?

  • Yes! You can “rent” a living Christmas tree (one that has not been chopped down) and have it delivered to your home or business for the holiday season. You can visit Living Christmas for more details.

Got Rechargeable Batteries? Heed the Call2Recycle!

Did you know it’s illegal to dispose of rechargeable batteries in the trash? Because rechargeable batteries contain heavy metals, they are classified as a Hazardous Waste. Whereas metals like lead, cadmium, zinc, and cobalt can pollute land and water when improperly disposed of, when recycled, these heavy metals from batteries can be reclaimed and used to make new batteries. Recycling rechargeable batteries not only reduces pollution, it conserves natural resources and reduces the energy costs involved in making new materials.

There are several different types of rechargeable batteries: lithium ion, nickel cadmium, small sealed lead acid, and nickel metal hydride. All rechargeable batteries different from single-use batteries (like common household AA, AAA, 9V and D-cell batteries). Single-use batteries cannot be recharged and must be disposed of once they run out of charge. You can find out how to properly dispose of single-use batteries here.

Portable walkie-talkies, cordless power tools & cell phones all use rechargeable batteries.

One of the most common types of rechargeable batteries are cell phone batteries. Rechargeable batteries are also found in cordless phones, laptops, cameras, cordless power tools, etc.

The good news about recycling rechargeable batteries is that there are many convenient drop-off locations around the country. Call2Recycle, a product stewardship program devised of battery manufacturers, has been recycling all types of batteries for over 20 years. Call2Recycle has partnered with retail locations to provide drop-off boxes for rechargeable battery recycling free of charge.

Not sure if you have single-use or rechargeable batteries? Check out the Battery Recycling Guide from Call2Recycle and watch the video below to learn more.

You can dispose of rechargeable batteries in the City of Torrance:

Take to a designated Call2Recycle drop-off location. Click here for a complete list of Call2Recycle drop-off locations.


What happens after you drop-off your rechargeable batteries? Check out this infographic from Call2Recycle on the lifecycle of your old batteries.

How to Recycle Old Mercury Thermostats: Remove, Replace, Recycle

Dispose of Old Mercury Thermostats Properly with Thermostat Recycling!

It is ILLEGAL to throw away mercury thermostats! Remember the Three R’s: Remove, Replace, Recycle!

Most modern buildings built in the past twenty years use programmable, LED-display thermostats, but you’ve undoubtedly seen the old school mercury thermostats at plenty of homes and businesses. Like any item containing mercury, thermostats are classified as a universal waste, and must be recycled. Mercury is a bio-toxin hazardous to our health and can cause serious environmental damage if improperly disposed of in landfills.


To encourage the proper dispose of mercury thermostats, Thermostat Recycling Corporation (TRC), a non-profit made up of thermostat manufacturers, has developed a product stewardship program. TRC has partnered with Heating and Air Conditioning (HVAC) wholesalers, thermostat retailers, and Household Hazardous Waste (HHW) collection sites, to collect old mercury thermostats from the public in a drop-off program. Now, proper recycling of old thermostats is easier than ever!


In 2017, nearly 18,000 mercury thermostats were recycled under this program in California alone.

Since the Thermostat Recycling Corporation launched in 1998, they have collected more than 2.4 MILLION thermostats; that’s more than 11 TONS of mercury diverted from the waste stream.


You can recycle your old mercury thermostats at the following locations:

Take to a local participating program take-back wholesales.  Click here to search for drop-off locations by zip codes.

You can also recycle mercury thermostats at an LA County-run, HHW S.A.F.E. collection center. Click here for a list of local HHW collection centers.

Please call collection sites for hours of operation and to confirm their participation in the Thermostat Recycling program.To learn more about Thermostat Recycling, visit the Thermostat Recycling Corporation’s website.

Torrance Used Oil Filter Exchange Program

As part of the City of Torrance’s used oil recycling program, the City hosts a series of filter exchange events at auto parts stores around town. Since February of 2017, Torrance has hosted five (5) filter exchange events for residents.

Events are held once a quarter at Used Oil Certified Collection Centers on Saturdays, 9am–1pm. At filter exchanges, Torrance residents who bring in an old oil filter to recycle receive a voucher for a free, new filter to redeem in-store.

Many auto parts stores like AutoZone and O’Reilly participate in the statewide used oil recycling program by taking back motor oil & filters from the public and recycling them for free. Remember when doing your next oil change to call your local auto parts store to see if they are a Used Oil Certified Collection Center. And don’t forget the filter! Check Recycle Torrance for dates and details of the City’s next scheduled filter exchange event, or call (562) 944-4766 with any questions about the City of Torrance’s Used Oil Recycling Program

2017-2018 Filter Exchange — By The Numbers

  • # of Events: 5
  • # of Participants: 150
  • # of Filters Collected: 357
  • Gallons of Oil Collected: 262


Residents who recycle their oil or filters at a City of Torrance filter exchange can receive oil change supplies, like a 6-quart oil drain container, shop towel, and funnel.


Giving away filter exchange supplies at the February 17, 2018 filter exchange at AutoZone.

Used Oil & Filter Recycling — Did You Know?

  • Did You Know In California, 1 in 5 households have a Do-It-Yourself (DIY) oil changer.
  • Did You Know There are more than 2,600 Used Oil Certified Collection Centers in California. There are 24 in Torrance.
  • Did You Know If improperly disposed of, the oil from a single oil change (1 gallon) can pollute as much as 1 million gallons of drinking water. One million gallons is enough to supply drinking water for 50 people for a year.
  • Did You Know In the U.S., less than 60% of the motor oil sold is recycled.
  • Did You Know Recycled motor oil is often turned into re-refined oil. Re-refined oil is more energy efficient, better for the environment, costs less to produce, and just as effective as virgin motor oil. Recycling one gallon of motor oil produces 2.5 quarts of re-refined oil.
  • Did You Know Even after draining, a typical used motor oil filter retains more than 10 fluid ounces of oil. Disposing of oil filters in the trash is illegal.
  • Did You Know Metal oil filters are made of steel, another recyclable resource. If all the metal oil filters sold in America each year were recycled, that would result in the recovery of about 160,000 tons of steel!
  • Did You Know DIY oil recyclers who recycle their motor oil at a Used Oil Recycling Certified Collection Center are eligible to receive 40 cents per gallon of oil brought in.


Torrance residents recycle at the City’s December 9th, 2017 filter exchange at O’Reilly Auto Parts.


Did you know? Motor oil never wears out or “goes bad,” it just gets dirty. Recycling motor oil cleans out dirt, impurities, water and other liquid contaminants so the oil can be re-refined and used again and again.


Both the used motor oil and the steel in automotive filters can be recycled.