If you‘ve ever changed your own oil, you know how much waste oil and used filters can build up. And these contain harmful contaminants, so you can‘t just throw them in the garbage. Thankfully, Walmart makes recycling used oil and filters easy.
In this detailed guide, you‘ll learn all about how to properly dispose of used oil and filters at Walmart. We‘ll cover:
- What types of oil Walmart accepts
- Step-by-step instructions for dropping off oil & filters
- How much you can bring per visit
- Other recycling locations you can use
- Creative ways to reuse oil yourself
As an ecommerce expert who‘s been selling online for over 10 years, I‘ve learned the importance of disposing hazardous materials properly. Read on for my insider tips and advice for recycling oil through Walmart and beyond!
Why Proper Disposal Matters
Before we dive in, let‘s quickly talk about why it‘s important to properly dispose of used motor oil and oil filters.
Oil harms the environment if disposed improperly. Just one gallon of oil can contaminate up to 1 million gallons of freshwater . Oil contains chemicals like benzene, lead, zinc, and sulfur that are toxic to wildlife .
Used oil is the largest single source of oil pollution in our lakes, rivers and streams according to the EPA . And a staggering 200 million gallons of used oil are improperly disposed of each year .
So by recycling your used oil instead of dumping it, you‘re helping protect the Earth‘s water and land from pollution. Walmart‘s oil recycling program aims to promote sustainability and it‘s easy to take part.
Now let‘s get into everything you need to know:
What Types of Used Oil Does Walmart Accept?
Walmart conveniently accepts any type of used motor oil for recycling, whether you bought it there or not.
This includes conventional and synthetic oils, standard weights like 5W-20 and 10W-30, and brands like:
- Royal Purple
- And any others!
As long as the oil came from a gasoline or diesel engine, Walmart will take it.
Walmart does NOT accept other types of used automotive fluids like:
- Transmission fluid
- Brake fluid
- Power steering fluid
- Radiator coolant
- Gear oil
- Hydraulic fluid
The used oil must be pure without any other fluids mixed in. This is to avoid contamination during the recycling process.
Step-By-Step: How to Return Used Oil and Filters to Walmart
Returning used oil and filters to Walmart is quick and easy. Just follow these steps:
1. Find a Walmart with an Auto Care Center
Not all Walmarts accept used oil – you need to visit one with an Auto Care Center onsite. Use the Walmart Store Finder to find one near you.
Filter the results for "Auto Services" to only see locations with Auto Care Centers.
2. Visit During Auto Care Center Hours
The Auto Care Center has different hours than the main Walmart store. They‘re typically open during daytime hours on weekdays and weekends – for example 8am to 8pm.
So make sure to stop by during Auto Care Center hours.
3. Head to the Auto Care Center
When you arrive, locate the Auto Care Center. It‘s usually at the side or back corner of the store. If you can‘t find it, ask any Walmart employee for directions.
Walk up to the counter and let the staff know you need to drop off used oil and filters for recycling.
4. Fill Out the Used Oil Recycling Form
The Auto Care Center employee will provide a small form to fill out including:
- Your name and contact info
- Estimated gallons of used oil being dropped off
This just allows Walmart to track the oil recycling.
5. Hand Over the Used Oil and Filters
Pass your used oil and filters to the Auto Care Center employee. Make sure the oil is tightly sealed in leak-proof containers with secure lids and labeled "Used Oil".
The employee may open the containers and inspect the oil to check it‘s pure used motor oil without any other fluids mixed in.
If you punctured your used oil filters to drain the oil, Walmart recommends placing them in a sealed plastic bag before bringing them in. This helps their recycling process.
And that‘s it – Walmart will handle proper disposal and recycling from there!
How Much Used Oil Can You Recycle at Walmart?
Walmart places a limit of 5 gallons of used motor oil per person per day. This allows them to efficiently process higher volumes of oil.
If you need to dispose of more than 5 gallons, simply make multiple trips on separate days to stay under the daily limit.
Walmart may adjust this limit seasonally based on demand. But 5 gallons per visit is standard.
Other Places You Can Take Used Oil and Filters
Don‘t have a Walmart nearby or need to recycle more oil? Here are some other retailers that accept used oil and oil filters for free:
All AutoZone locations have collection tanks to dispose of used oil and oil filters. Locate one near you here.
Advance Auto Parts
Also offers free used oil and filter recycling. Find your nearest store here.
O‘Reilly Auto Parts
Many O‘Reilly stores take used oil – call ahead to confirm yours does.
Stores with service centers will take used motor oil. Check availability at your local Pep Boys.
Most locations accept used oil and filters from any automotive source during business hours.
Independent Repair Shops
Many privately owned shops let you dispose of used DIY oil as a courtesy. Always call ahead to check.
You can also use Earth911.org to search for more used oil drop-off locations by zip code.
So if Walmart isn‘t convenient, find another auto parts store or repair shop to recycle your used oil and filters. Almost all facilities accept oil for free since they work with recycling companies.
Creative Ways to Reuse Old Motor Oil at Home
With proper disposal covered, another question I‘m often asked is what else you can do with used oil besides recycling it.
While you can‘t just pour it in the trash or down the drain, there are some clever ways to reuse oil around the house before taking the rest in for recycling.
Here are a few of my favorite used oil life hacks:
Lubricate Hinges, Locks, Tools
Wipe a thin coating of used motor oil on squeaky door hinges, sticky locks, garden tool joints and other moving parts. The oil lubricates the mechanisms and prevents rust.
Protect Wooden Handles
Dip wooden tool handles in used oil to seep into the grain. This waterproofs and preserves the wood.
Control Dust on Driveways
Lightly spritz/brush used oil on the surface of gravel or dirt driveways. This keeps dust from kicking up while driving. Be very conservative with oil usage and sweep up any excess.
Make Rust-Preventive Tool Wipes
Soak old rags in used oil to make wipes. Wipe down any workshop tools, machinery, lawn mower blades etc. before storage to prevent rusting.
Fuel for Emergency Heating
In a true emergency situation without heat, used motor oil can be carefully burned in approved heating containers as a last resort. Never do this indoors or improperly.
Apply a thin coat of used oil around foundations, window sills, fence posts, or anywhere else bugs enter. The oil‘s scent repels many pests.
Be extremely careful and conservative when reusing oil at home. Improper use can harm pets, plants or contaminate soil. But with some creativity, you can get a bit more use from old oil before recycling what‘s left.
I hope this guide has helped explain everything you need to know about properly and easily disposing of used oil and filters through Walmart. Here are some key takeaways:
Yes, Walmart accepts any used motor oil and oil filters for recycling. This promotes sustainability.
Simply visit an Auto Care Center and give the oil/filters to an employee. There‘s no charge for drop-off.
You can bring up to 5 gallons of used oil per visit. Other retailers like AutoZone also take DIY used oil.
Consider reusing a small amount of the oil around the house before recycling the rest responsibly.
With Americans generating over 200 million gallons of improperly disposed used oil each year , following these proper recycling practices makes a real difference for the environment. We all play a role in keeping contaminants out of our soil and waterways.
As an ecommerce business owner, I‘m passionate about pursuing sustainability across all aspects of daily life. And I‘m proud to see major retailers like Walmart stepping up with recycling initiatives like this.
I hope you‘ve found this thorough guide helpful. Let me know if you have any other questions!