California Used Oil Recycling Program

Just imagine this as someone taking your empty soda cans to the recycling center for money. Now imagine your used oil, which is being taken away for recycling, has a refund associated with it. All you have to do is sign up as a California Used Oil Recycling Center and then we at CSI file this claim for you as part of our service. The money is 16 cents per gallon of used oil or about $3000 per year (based on 18,000 gallons of used oil). All you have to do is deposit the check the state sends you every quarter!

Frequently Asked Questions and answers are available on the state website,

For a full list of responsibilities, see the CCC program home page, which summarizes and links to the Operator’s Guide

Frequently Asked Questions

What forms do I need to complete to get certified?

Celly Services will complete all forms that you need to get certified.

What if the oil looks contaminated?

You can decline the acceptance of contaminated used motor oil or other waste given to you. Instructions are listed here:

Ask them to take it to a facility as provided by the state.

Do I need to keep any special/extra paperwork as part of the program?

No. Your used oil pickup receipts are obtained by us from your used oil hauler.

What is the maximum amount of oil that a person can bring?

You can set a limit where you may not accept more than 5 gallons from a person.

How does this affect my image as a new car dealer?

The fear that unsightly homeless in pajamas will show up with a gallon of used oil in your driveway is unfounded. No dealership in the program (CSI client) has ever seen them in the drive with oil.

What paperwork needs to be posted?

The Certificate of a Used Oil Recycling Center (8.5 x 11 sheet of paper) needs to be posted. Also, a Used Oil Recycling Center sign (provided by the state at no cost) needs to be posted in your driveway where customers can see as they enter your facility.

Do I need to pay the public?

Offer the public 40 cents per gallon of used oil. No paperwork is needed.

Is there a long-term contract with the state?

No, you can get off the program with a simple letter to the state.

What if my oil gets contaminated?

You may keep a 16-gallon drum separately for storage of used oil from the public and keep suspected oil in that drum. If taking oil from the public contaminates your oil, the state will reimburse you for incremental costs for disposal due to the contamination, presuming the source of contamination was public oil (up to a maximum of $5,000 per year). Signs are available, from the state at no cost, to remind both employees and customers not to mix anything with used oil or pour contaminated used oil into storage tanks.

How do I get the gallons of new Oil + ATF purchased per quarter needed for the claim?

Contact your bulk oil supplier for the number.

Additional resources: Certified Collection Center Operators Guide – and SB 546 Lowenthal eff. January 1, 2010.
If you need further details or wish to have the copy of the application, please contact

DISCLAIMER: The contents of this newsletter are merely for informational purposes only and are not to be considered as legal advice.  Employers must consult their lawyer for legal matters and EPA/OSHA consultants for matters related to Environmental, Health & Safety. The article was authored by Sam Celly of Celly Services, Inc. who has been helping automobile dealers in Arizona, California, Hawaii, Idaho, Nevada, New Mexico, New York, Texas, and Virginia comply with EPA and OSHA regulations for over 34 years. Sam is Certified Safety Professional (No. 16515) certified by National Board of Certified Safety Professionals. Sam received his BE (1984) and MS (1986) in Chemical Engineering, followed by a J.D. from Southwestern University School of Law (1997).

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