Alberta Used Oil Management Association

95,370,836 litres of used oil were recovered in 2015, a recovery rate of 85.5% of used oil available for recycling. Since program inception in 1997, 1,441,946,933 litres have been recycled and reused.

Click to read our full 2015 Annual Report.

8,105,108 used oil filters were recycled in 2015, a recovery rate of 86.5%. Since 1997, 123,493,402 filters have been recovered and turned into useful products.

Click to read our full 2015 Annual Report.

2,274,015 kg of used oil containers were collected and recycled in 2015, 90.3% of containers available for recycling. Since 1997, 30,094,207 kg of have been recycled into useful products.

Click to read our full 2015 Annual Report.

During Summer 2015, Mr. Oil Drop and our Recycling Ambassadors participated in 25 community events from May to August throughout Alberta promoting the importance of used oil materials recycling.

Click to read our full 2015 Annual Report.

Why Recycle? FAQ

We have highlighted many questions people have about used oil materials recycling in Alberta.

If you have a question not answered in FAQ, we would like to hear from you. Email your question to or call AUOMA’s office in Edmonton at (780) 414-1510.

Why used oil materials are considered hazardous.

What is hazardous about a used oil filter?

A standard used oil filter can contain up to 8 ounces/250 ML of used oil. Since many filters are 85% steel, they will take forever to decompose if dumped in a landfill.

What’s so bad about used plastic oil containers?

Some people disposed of used plastic oil containers by burning them. This is dangerous since the plastic can give off dangerous toxins that are hazardous to one’s health. Also, when taken to the landfill, plastic containers take up valuable space and hundreds of years to decompose.

Why is used oil hazardous?

One litre of used oil can contaminate one million litres of water. Think of the environmental damage the used oil from just one oil can can cause.

How used oil materials are recycled in Alberta.

How can dirty used oil be recycled and turned into something useful?

Re-refining used oil completely restores the original lubricating properties of the oil and takes about one-third of the energy of refining crude oil to lubricant quality.

What happens to the used oil filters?

Used filters are crushed and the residual used oil drained off. The crushed steel filters are processed at steel recycling mills and turned into other metal products such as construction rebar, angle iron and pipe.

What’s done with the used plastic oil containers?

Used plastic containers end up as clean pelletized feedstock for new containers, or oily plastic flake for guardrails, fence posts, landscape ties, pipe and parking curbs, as well as for plastic durable goods such as patio furniture and flower pots.

Where to recycle used oil materials in Alberta.

What’s the difference between a collection facility and EcoCentre?

A collection facility is a business such as a garage or automotive retail outlet that will accept all or some of the three used oil materials (oil, filters, plastic containers). Some collection facilities will accept materials from everyone but some will only accept from their customers. Please check before dropping off.

An EcoCentre (pictured at right)  is a specially built structure provided as a drop-off point for small volume generator who wish to safely dispose of their used oil materials.

Where can I take my used oil materials for recycling?

Alberta has a network of nearly 340 year-round collection facilities and EcoCentres in the province. These are convenient drop-off points for what we call small generators. A do-it-yourself mechanic, a farmer or small business may have quantities of used oil, filters and plastic containers that can be easily transported to a nearby collection facility. For the facility nearest you, click here. Or call AUOMA’s toll free telephone number at 1-888-922-2298.

Disposing of large quantities of used oil materials.

Can my business become a registered collector?

If your business is interested in becoming a registered collector, review the AUOMA Manual for Registered Processors and Collectors (Effective July 1, 2015) for application forms and conditions or registration, payment and operating requirements.

If I have too much used oil materials to transport myself, what can I do?

Contact one of AUOMA’s 71 registered collectors who will make arrangements to pick up your used oil materials at your business or on your farm. Click here for the list of Collectors. Or call AUOMA’s toll free telephone number 1-888-922-2298.

Where do collectors take the used oil materials?

Collectors are required to take all used oil materials to Alberta government approved processors either in the province or in western Canada.

Used oil products that can be recycled.

What plastic oil containers are accepted for recycling?

You can bring in any plastic container with a capacity of less than 30 litres that is manufactured to hold oil.

What types of oil can I recycle?

In Alberta, you can recycle any petroleum or synthetic crankcase oil, engine oil, hydraulic fluid, transmission fluid, gear oil, heat transfer fluid or other fluid used for lubricating purposes in machinery or equipment.

Ensure your used oil is not contaminated with such things as water, anti-freeze, paint or solvent. If it is, please contact your local municipality about where you can recycle this material.

What types of oil filters are recyclable?

Any spin-on or element oil filter used in hydraulic, transmission or internal combustion engine applications can be recycled. This includes diesel fuel filters but does not include gasoline fuel filters.

See for yourself how well the Alberta used oil materials recycling program is doing.

How has the collection of used plastic oil container gone?

Since day one, 30,094,207 kilograms of used plastic oil containers (1 to 30 litre sizes) have been recycled and reused in Alberta.

In 2015 alone, 90.3% or 2,274,015 kilograms of containers were recovered and recycled.

How many litres of used oil have been collected since the program began?

In 2015, the current audited year, 95,370,836 litres of used oil were recovered and recycled in the province, 85.5% of the used oil available for collection.

In May 2011, the Alberta program exceeded the one billion litre mark of used oil recovered and recycled since 1997. To end of Fiscal Year 2015, the program has now collected 1.441,946,933 billion litres of used oil.

How many used oil filters have been collected since the beginning?

The program has seen 123,493,402 filters collected since 1997.  In 2015, 8,105,108 filters or 86.5% of the filters sold and available for recycling were recovered.

Why isn’t used oil materials a refundable deposit program?

There are five key reasons why this is not a refundable deposit program:
  1. Program costs would be significantly higher. This would substantially increase the Environmental Handling Charge (EHC) and significantly affect the cost of lubricating oil and filters at the retail level.
  2. Used oil material return rates in Alberta of over 85% and growing each year have been achieved with the Return Incentive (RI) program. This success is also mirrored by the results achieved by the other Canadian industry-led used oil stewardship programs.
  3. A refundable deposit program encourages adding contaminates to increase returned volumes of oil.
  4. Used oil IS a hazardous, recyclable material. All collectors and processors must be approved by provincial governments according to strict environmental guidelines applied to handling hazardous material.
  5. Unlike beverage containers, used oil materials would create a health concern if community groups like Scouts or Girl Guides and others use used oil materials collection for their fund-raising.

AUOMA is part of a national organization NUOMAAC (National Used Oil Material Antifreeze Advisory Council)

What associations belong to NUOMAAC and what does it do?

NUOMAAC is comprised of the seven national used oil management programs:

The seven associations that guide the Canadian used oil recycling programs exist to promote and facilitate the recovery of valuable, non-renewable resources by providing consumers (small volume users such as do-it-yourselfers and farmers) with a simple, convenient way to dispose of used oil, used oil filters and used oil containers. Each operates a single, comprehensive, cost-effective, sustainable and province-wide program.

Our work has created new business opportunities by promoting the expansion of a strong and competitive private-sector recycling industry. The programs are self-sustaining – no government funding is required. They also afford the efficiency and effectiveness of an industry-managed program requiring minimal regulation.

The seven provincial associations work cooperatively to market and manage programs for consumers, members and collectors.

Helping Alberta Make Every Drop Count!