How to Dispose of Engine Oil | Commercial Recycling News

How to dispose of engine oil safely and legally

Engine oil is used in vehicles and machines, and due to being derived from petroleum oil, is classed as a hazardous substance. This means if it’s not disposed of correctly, it can have damaging effects on the environment.

In this article, we illustrate an efficient and affordable way for businesses to legally dispose of their waste engine oil. Also outlined is advice and guidelines to follow if you’re thinking of using Commercial Recycling for the disposal of your unwanted engine oil.

Legal considerations when disposing of engine oil

There are a few key pieces of legislation to adhere to when storing or tipping waste oils:

The Control of Pollution (Oil Storage) (England) Regulations 2001
If your business stores or uses oil, you must comply with the requirements set out by the Government. If you do not follow these regulations, your business can be fined and the Environment Agency can serve an anti-pollution works notice to ensure you meet legal requirements.
Read more here >>

Duty of Care – Waste Duty of Care Regulations 2005
You must make sure hazardous waste produced or handled by your business causes no harm or damage to individuals or the environment. As a business owner, you have responsibilities known as ‘duty of care’. This puts an emphasis on doing whatever you can to reuse, recycle or recover waste. If you are unable to do this, the waste must be disposed of at a licenced waste facility such as Canford Recycling Centre.
Read more here >>

The Environmental Permitting (England and Wales) Regulations 2010
This requires individuals to control certain activities which could harm human health or the environment. In carrying out this responsibility, individuals need to take into account the potential impacts waste disposal can have on conservation sites, and try to be more aware with how they dispose of their waste, to ensure it’s completed in a legal manner.
Read more here >>

How to safely prepare your engine oil for disposal

Alongside following current legislation regarding the disposal of engine oil, there are some important safety procedures your business should take when preparing unwanted engine oil for disposal.

  1. Tempting as it may be to use an easy ‘get rid’ solution, you must not place your oil in normal waste streams/containers, pour the oil on the ground or down a drain. If your business did this, you would be breaking the law, causing pollution, and if caught most likely to be prosecuted and fined.
  2. It should be common sense, but these substances can be extremely harmful to humans, especially when they come in contact with skin. Ensure you always wear gloves when handling your engine oil. This is due to the damaging substances that engine oil contains, like lead, chromium and benzene.
  3. Be sure the oil is cool before you attempt to transfer it, as the container it’s transported in could melt and create an unwanted spillage, which could lead to an accident and injuries.
  4. Do not mix the oil with any other substance as it makes the oil harder to recycle. To avoid this, make sure the container you use is thoroughly cleaned before pouring the waste oil inside.
  5. Ensure that you’re using the right container. It should be made from a strong material, unlike milk bottles that are commonly used, and will need to be sealed for safe transportation. The most common container to store waste oil is a steel drum.

If you’re still unsure how to safely prepare your engine oil, contact Commercial Recycling on 01202 579579 for further advice, or to arrange a collection.

Did you know that used engine oil can be recycled?

Oil doesn’t wear out, it just gets dirty, so can therefore be cleaned, re-refined and used again and again. However, used oils can pollute the environment if they are not recycled properly, especially when it’s leaked into our water sources. This can have devastating impacts on animals, insects, plants and drinking water.

Depending on the local disposal site used, the waste oil will either be bulk stored and transported to a specialist recycling centre for further treatment or it will be cleaned, refined and recycled onsite.

If you are a business looking to dispose of used engine oil, Commercial Recycling will be happy to accept your oil at one of our licenced facilities. Call our expert team on 01202 579579 or contact us here >>

Obtain your hazardous consignment note

As mentioned above, engine oil is classified as hazardous waste due to the harmful substances it contains. This means that when you dispose of engine oil, you will need to obtain a hazardous waste consignment note to prove that the waste has been taken care of correctly.

However, it is important to note that when you are disposing of any hazardous waste, it is the producer of the waste’s responsibility to know where the waste is sent. They must ensure that the correct steps are taken, that those contracted to collect it are operating legally, and that you receive the correct paperwork afterwards.

For help in obtaining a consignment note please contact our hazardous waste specialist on 01202 579579 or

If you are unable to transport your hazardous waste we can collect it for you

For businesses who do not wish to or are unable to transport their engine oil to one of our local recycling centres, we can provide an affordable hazardous waste collection service.

We offer an affordable, flexible engine oil collection service, and although the most common container size for storage of oil is 205L (45 gallons), we can collect waste oil from as little as 20L bins, right up to 2000L containers which are emptied using tanker lorries. At Commercial Recycling, we can supply, exchange and collect these drums of oil for you.

If you choose a waste collection service from Commercial Recycling, our friendly team will arrange a date and time to suit your business and ensure that all the appropriate legal matters are taken care of, including the completion of the hazardous waste consignment note.

Do you need to book an engine oil disposal?

Due to the hazardous nature of engine oil, we prefer you to pre-book a disposal slot, ideally 24-hours before visiting one of our convenient recycling centres.

Our experts will always be happy to help you to successfully navigate the complicated legalities concerning hazardous wastes such as engine oil.

For advice or to book your engine oil disposal, please call our expert team on 01202 579579 or email:

What happens to the engine oil once it has been disposed of?

Recycling oil consumes less energy than refining new oil from the ground. After you have taken your used engine oil to Commercial Recycling, we then transfer it to a specialist licensed facility where it is treated to remove the hazardous substances. It is then recycled back into oil that is suitable for reuse., reducing the negative impact on the environment.

Contact Commercial Recycling for your engine oil disposal

If you would like more information on how to get rid of engine oil or would like to arrange the disposal of your oil with Commercial Recycling, you can give our team a call on 01202 579579 or email us at

Check out our waste disposal prices here >>

Keep up to date with all the latest CRL news by following our Facebook page for regular advice and updates.

Let's work together