What do I do with used motor oil?
Dispose of used motor oil at the Maitland and Warooka depots for FREE.
Within the Yorke Peninsula Council you can take oil to the Warooka (3 Fifth Street Warooka) or Maitland (28 Elizabeth Road Maitland) depots during the weekday opening hours of 7:30am to 4:30pm. No matter whether it’s freshly drained from a vehicle or equipment, or it’s been sitting around the shed for ages, when you bring it in, it can actually be recycled. So by disposing of the oil correctly, you’re not only avoiding an environmental problem, you’re giving the oil a second life.
How to dispose of used oil safely
Bring your oil in a clean, plastic container with a lid. The original container is perfect. Please avoid using paint cans or other metal containers.
What about the oil containers?
It is your responsibility to dispose of the used oil container appropriately, and you have two options.
There are approximately 50 sites in South Australia that also collect the used oil containers for recycling into new oil containers and other plastic products. Click here for a list of participating waste oil container collection facilities and more information about this program.
Council also participates in the DrumMuster programme for the collection of used chemical drums and containers. This occurs twice per year, with details advertised well in advance.
What happens to the oil you bring in?
Although oil gets dirty when it’s used, it can still be cleaned and reused. Recycled oil fuels industrial burners, is incorporated into other products, comes back as hydraulic oil or is re-refined as lubricating oil. A waste contractor authorised to handle hazardous wastes collects the oil and transports it to Adelaide for recycling.
What’s even better than recycling used oil?
It’s reducing the amount of oil that needs to be recycled. For a start, make sure you only buy the quantity of motor oil recommended by the manufacturer and store any left over until you need a top-up or your next oil change (remember to store it undercover and where spills can be cleaned up easily). If you’ve still got surplus, you might even offer it to community groups or the neighbours so it’s not wasted.
Why can’t I dispose of the oil in the waste bin?
Oil can have serious environmental impacts if not stored carefully and disposed of appropriately. It should never be thrown away into your rubbish and recycling bins, poured down the drain or put on your garden.
If disposed of to landfill, used oil will slowly leach into surrounding land, underground water and infrastructure. When disposed of in sewerage and wastewater systems, or allowed to enter the stormwater system, its effects will be even more immediate and catastrophic. It only takes one litre of oil to contaminate 1,000,000 litres of water (that’s about half the water in an Olympic swimming pool). In fact, the large accidental marine oil spills we all dread only account for about 10 – 15% of all the oil that enters our oceans every year. Oil-polluted stormwater and sewage is the biggest single source, causing extensive, immediate and long-term damage to coastal and marine habitats and ecosystems, seabirds, mammals, fisheries and people. If you’ve put oil onto your garden or on land as a dust suppressant, it will contaminate the soil and eventually the groundwater, all of which is costly to clean up and can make your now contaminated property hard to sell. And because oil is so easily recycled now, it’s really a waste of precious resources if you’re not disposing of it properly.