Yes, you can really get paid for used oil!

This article reveals exactly how and some of the best companies and/or programs that will pay you for used oil.



Recycling is a responsible way of maximizing the earth’s natural resources, saving money, and saving the planet.

Examples of recyclable items include glass, aluminum, plastic, metals, cardboard, etc.

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Another important natural resource that is recycled and put to good use is oil.

In particular, oil from our motor vehicles is replaced with new oil during regular maintenance.

The importance of recycling oil properly can be underscored by one specific fact as found on the website entitled

That one powerful fact is that an individual who does their own oil improperly can contaminate 1 million gallons of water if they do not properly dispose of that oil or if they pour that oil into a sewer drain.

This reveals the importance of recycling oil not only from the standpoint of preserving our natural resources but also from the standpoint of not contaminating our drinking water.

Let us explore 10 methods to think about when involved in the recycling process of used oil and identifying companies that will pay for that used oil.


Personal Story

I recently bought a newer used car after owning my Chevy Malibu for 12 years.

I was pretty faithful in making sure that the oil changes were accomplished on the Malibu and was used to paying roughly $45 for each oil change and the various services offered as part of their full-service package.

Imagine my surprise when I took the new car in for an oil change and was told it was going to be over $100.

I guess I came across rather strong and the service attendant quickly added that it was the manufacturer’s suggestion for my vehicle to use synthetic oil.

I authorized the oil change and left as quickly as I could.

Fortunately, I had a $10 off coupon which served to soothe my nerves a bit.

At least I didn’t have to pay for the tax on the transaction.


How to Get Paid for Used Oil Through Oil Recycling


What Is Recycling Oil?

The oil that is found in vehicles is meant to protect the internal moving parts of the engine from friction and lubricate the workings of the motor to function optimally.

After so many miles, the oil begins to get dirty and becomes compromised as far as its ability to reduce the friction.

Consequently, the motor oil needs to be changed according to the manufacturer’s specific recommendations.

Once the old oil is removed from the oil pan and exchanged with the new oil, the old oil can be recycled.


Why Recycle?

The importance of recycling motor oil is the reality that motor oil has already been refined for its use in our vehicles.

Therefore, it is a matter of sheer economics and being energy-efficient to utilize refined oil, despite the fact that it is classified as dirty.

In order to manufacture 2 1/2 quarts of oil that are used in our autos and trucks would take the equivalent 42 gallons of crude oil.

In other words, it takes 42 gallons of crude oil to go through a refining process in order to produce 2 1/2 quarts of oil used to lubricate the inner workings of the engines of our cars and trucks.



In addition, to the economics and energy efficiency of recycling already refined oil, is that it is the law in most states that oil is recycled and not thrown into landfills.

Used motor oil is not considered hazardous.

The only exception would be if it has been tainted or mixed with other fluids that could be defined as being hazardous.

However, oil is insoluble and does not break down molecularly.


How to Recycle

In order to recycle oil that is about to be exchanged with cleaner oil, there is a process that the individual should make sure is not compromised by being mixed with other fluids.

Also, when recycling motor oil it is important to remember that there is residual oil found in the oil filter.

It is recommended that to release that oil from an oil filter that the individual takes a screwdriver and punctures the top of the oil filter and allows the oil to drain into the proper receptacle.



There are a variety of companies and recycling businesses that will pay an individual per gallon of dirty oil that is being turned in for recycling.

How much an individual can receive per gallon is dependent on where an individual chooses to take their oil and where they live.

The range of payment for oil drained from a vehicle is on average $.40 per gallon.


What Is Recycled Oil Used for?

The beauty of recycling anything is that it can be modified, put back into circulation, and put to good use.

The same is true for recycled oil.

Some of the uses of recycled oil include the transformation back into heating fuel, oil for lubrication in machinery, and also oil that can be utilized in electric power plants to generate power.


Best Method to Collect Used Oil

If you are a do-it-yourselfer, the best way to change your oil is to cover the work area with a plastic tarp before beginning the process.

This will help to contain any spills and avoid any of the oil soaking into the surrounding area.

By situating yourself underneath the oil drain plug, you can begin to remove the oil plug making sure that you have a container underneath to catch the drainage.

It is best not to use milk, juice, or another gallon container in order to place the used oil.



The oil that you have removed from your car’s engine can be taken immediately to a company or recycling center so that the oil can be collected and be part of the process of refining the used oil.

Additionally, an individual may choose to store oil over a period of time.

It is important to note that most companies only accept large quantities of oil that are capped out at the maximum of 5 gallons.

Once the oil filter has been drained, it should be placed in a plastic bag as part of the collection process for recycling.



Once the dirty motor oil has been received by the company that is licensed to refine this oil, it goes through a process to remove any of the impurities.

Some of those impurities could include pieces of the engine and possibly water.

This process is known as reconditioning.

Following this step, additives are mixed in with the oil so that the oil can be utilized as a fuel through a burning process.


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Once the initial step has been taken in starting to refine the motor oil, there is an additional step that is called re-refined.

This added step takes the recycling process one step higher by removing all impurities from the recycled oil.

Through this refining process, any additional additives are stripped away, and then that the same refining process occurs as if the oil was crude oil.

Re-refined oil is a process that is clearly defined and outlined for use by the American Petroleum Institute.

This re-refined process needs to occur before the oil can be repackaged and sold to consumers and businesses.


10 Best Companies That Buy or Take Oil at No Charge


1. Auto Zone

AutoZone is a premier automobile parts retailer that prides itself on keeping its customer’s vehicles on the road.

When recycling your oil and bringing it into AutoZone they recommend the use of a closed oil drain pan or the oil can be transferred from the customer’s container into the large 5-gallon drum.

Also, as a suggestion, they indicate that the container that the new oil came in could be a suitable container for the old oil.

AutoZone may or may not pay the customer for their oil but certainly does not charge for this customer service.

Click here to check out Auto Zone


2. O’Reilly

This automobile parts store will collect the used oil.

This service is provided at no fee to the customer.

Also, they collect automotive batteries, transmission fluid, gear oil, and oil filters.

Click here to check out O’Reilly


3. Safety Kleen

Safety-Kleen collects oil and actually does the refinement of the old oil and puts it back into its original state.

They have a multitude of locations that span the United States, Canada, and Puerto Rico,

Their service includes the provision of quotes, booking appointments, and picking up oil that is in large containers.

Click here to check out Safety Kleen


4. Advance Auto

This auto parts retailer provides free oil recycling at most of their bricks and mortar locations.

On their website, they talk about the importance of recycling and the correct process of performing an oil change…

Click here to check out Advance Auto


5. Wal-mart Tire & Lube

If your local Walmart has an automotive center attached to its community location they will take old motor oil.

Also, Walmart will accept oil filters that have been used.

The only stipulation is that the oil is not contaminated with other fluids and 5 gallons maximum per day per person can be turned in.

Click here to check out Wal-mart Tire & Lube


6. Service Stations

There are still a number of service stations within your community that provides full-service as it relates to the automotive needs of their customers.

Part of that full service is the possibility of doing brake service, transmission oil changes, and oil changes as well.

Most likely, these service stations will accept your used oil and perhaps they may pay you per gallon for that oil that is brought in for recycling.


7. Recycling Centers

In your community are recycling plants that serve the immediate population.

These recycling plants will often pay for aluminum, glass, plastic, etc.

Quite possibly, the recyclers at the local level may also pay you per gallon for that commodity of oil.

Therefore, it is best to check in your local community to see if there are recyclers that will provide this service and pay you for that old engine oil.


8. City Recyclers

In addition to local recycling companies, some recycling businesses are operated and managed by city governments.

Often, these city governments work under the laws of their state as it relates to recycling products to make sure that certain items are kept out of the landfill or the water supply.

Therefore, it would be a good idea to check with your city to see if the recycling programs that are available.

Often these city-run recycling operations will pay the individual the going rate for a gallon of used oil.


9. Crystal Clean

Crystal clean is a major oil collection center that has thousands of businesses that utilize their services to collect oil.

In addition to being a collection point for oil, they are also involved in is part of the re-refiners of oil.

This oil re-refinery is able to refine 75 million gallons of old used oil on an annual basis.

Click here to check out Crystal Clean


10. Jiffy Lube

This oil-changing company that is designed to get customers in and out within minutes is also a collection center for used oil.

Not only do they recycle the oil that is changed out in their retail outlets but also accepts oil from individuals who work on their own cars and do their own oil changes.

Click here to check out Jiffy Lube


How to Make Money from Used Oil FAQs


What Container Can I Put Old Oil in for Recycling?

You can use a gallon container; however it is always best to place the container in a plastic bag when filled.

There are also commercial containers that can be bought for this purpose.


What Happens to Oil Filters?

The oil filters themselves are ground into small pieces and then heated in order to remove any of the oil that is still within the units.

The oil is then collected and recycled.

The filters themselves are then shredded and sold as scrap metal.



Recycling may be a small inconvenience but overall has a significant impact as it relates to the effect on the environment and our natural resources.

The impact is extremely powerful when it equates to too many people who are dedicated to this process.

You are resourceful in doing things on your own and as an added bonus you save money.

Now let that resourcefulness that you bring go beyond your home garage and capture those used resources, recycle them, and receive a few dollars in turn.

Again, this company has paid $25+ million to members:

SurveyJunkie (only USA, Canada, Australia residents allowed). You can earn money sharing your thoughts. They have already paid $25+ million to their 20+ million members just for sharing their thoughts and opinions. Click here to join SurveyJunkie for FREE

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Apart from being a seasoned Personal Finance expert who has written for top publications around the world, I bring significant personal financial experience. Long story short... through bad financial choices... I found myself $100,000 plus in debt. I was able to dissolve this indebtedness and regain financial solvency. This financial turn around was accomplished through reading, studying and implementing a financial plan. My financial plan included paying down my debt through budgeting, being cognizant of where my financial resources were being spent, changing my attitude about money and understanding the binding chains of the improper use of credit. Today, and for 10 years, I have been debt free and have invested wisely to enjoy my current retirement. This is allowing me to write to help others make, save and grow money wisely!