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  • Keep used oil in a separate container, clearly labeled “Used Oil.”
  • Recycle used oil through the services of a used oil recycler and transporter registered with North Carolina.
  • Keep accurate records of used oil testing and shipping for five years.
  • Clean up any spilled used oil immediately. Then submit the collected waste for pickup to Environment, Health and Safety. Keep drums closed unless adding material.


  • Do not mix used oil with even small amounts of hazardous wastes or solvents, such as degreasers or carburetor cleaner.
  • Do not pour used motor oil onto the ground or dispose of used oil in a storm drain, septic tank, sewer, or dumpster.

Additives for making oil lubricate better, combined with contaminants that enter the oil through normal engine wear or equipment operation, cause used oil to be considered a damaging environmental pollutant if not managed properly. North Carolina’s hazardous regulations exempt used oil if:

  1. it has not been mixed or contaminated with hazardous wastes
  2. it is sent offsite for recycling or burned for energy recovery

The exemption is available only if proper records are maintained. Transmission fluid and most other equipment lubricants are crude-based petroleum products and therefore can be mixed with used oil. Used oil must not be contaminated with hazardous solvents. If used oil is not recycled, it must be tested to determine if it is a hazardous waste.