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Recycle Vehicle Fluids and Parts

Motor Oil and Transmission Fluid

According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), "the oil from just one oil change is enough to contaminate a million gallons of fresh water." Motor oil and transmission fluids are toxic substances. Toxic substances may cause injury or death when ingested, inhaled, or touched, depending on dose and length of exposure.

Oil can and should be recycled and reused as fuel. Two gallons of used oil can provide a utility boiler with enough fuel to run the average household's electricity for about 24 hours. By recycling, you can prevent soil and water contamination, as well as damage to septic systems and wastewater treatment facilities. To recycle used motor oil and transmission fluid, take them to a service station, drop-off location, or household hazardous waste collection site. Keep all automotive fluids separate from each other.

Gasoline, Power Steering Fluid, and Windshield Wiper Fluid

Gasoline, power steering fluid, and wiper fluid should be completely used up. Gasoline and wiper fluids are toxic and flammable. Power steering fluid is toxic. If it is not completely used, be sure to store it safely and take it to a household hazardous waste collection location. Keep all automotive fluids separate from each other. Recycling gasoline, power steering fluid, and wiper fluid prevents soil and water contamination and reduces the risk of exposure to benzene and fire.

Antifreeze and Brake Fluid

Always take antifreeze and brake fluid to a service station, or household hazardous waste location for recycling. Never pour them down the sink, into septic tanks or storm drain, or on the ground. Keep all automotive fluids separate from each other. Recycling antifreeze and brake fluid prevents children and animals from being poisoned (they are attracted to the sweet taste) and prevents soil and water contamination. Antifreeze is toxic but can still be regenerated and reused. Brake fluid is toxic and corrosive and can sometimes be regenerated.

Auto Batteries

Although auto batteries are toxic and corrosive, they contain recyclable metals. Unused auto batteries should be taken to a service station, drop-off location, or household hazardous waste collection site for recycling. Properly disposing of batteries prevents lead and sulfuric acid contamination of soil and water. Lead can cause mild to severe brain damage, especially to children, and sulfuric acid can burn skin and eyes.

Oil Filters

To properly dispose of oil filters, drain and collect used oil from the filter after the engine has been off for 24 hours. After the oil has been drained, take the filter and oil to a service station, drop-off location, or household hazardous waste collection site. Proper disposal prevents soil and water contamination, as well as damage to septic systems and wastewater treatment facilities. The used oil can be refined and reused. The filters contain recyclable metal.

Tires

Nearly 200 million worn tires are generated each year. Some are recycled into products such as rubber mats or footwear; others are burned as fuel or retreaded and sold again. Recycling keeps millions of scrap tires out of landfills each year.

Properly maintaining tires makes them last longer. Keep tires properly inflated, repair punctures, and maintain alignment. Rotate tires every 6,000 to 8,000 miles, and check tread wear indicators periodically. When the tire tread is worn to same height as the tread wear indicator, replace the tire

- National Safety Council