Whether you’re working from your carport or a professional garage, you should always safely store and dispose of all automotive parts, products and fluids. When handled improperly, these items can mean trouble for your health and that of the environment.
Some commonly used automotive products:
- windshield wash
- propylene glycol
- gas line antifreeze
- lock deicer
- automotive fluids
- radiator coolant
- brake and clutch fluids
- transmission fluid
- carburetor power steering fluid
- car cleaners
- car waxes and polishes
- tire and white-wall cleaner
Why it matters
USED OIL – Used oil contains all kinds of toxic chemicals and heavy metals such as lead and cadmium. As you might guess, these materials should never be put in the garbage or poured down the drain. See RecycleMyOil.ca to find a drop off location near you.
WHAT ABOUT FILTERS?
Used oil filters cannot be disposed in household garbage. Take the following steps and drop of them off with your used oil:
- Remove any remaining oil by puncturing the filter and letting it drain over a container.
- Add the recovered oil to your collection of used oil.
- Take the used oil filter with your used oil to your nearest drop off location.
ANTIFREEZE – Antifreeze has a sweet taste which makes it attractive to children, pets and wild animals, but it is still highly toxic. In fact, even a small antifreeze spill can be fatal for pets. What’s more, if poured down the drain, it can interfere with sewage treatment and septic systems. Visit RecycleMyOil.ca to find the nearest drop off location for used antifreeze
WHAT ABOUUT EMPTY OIL AND ANTIFREEZE CONTAINERS?
Empty oil and antifreeze containers, including lubricant oil/brake cleaner aerosol containers, have product residue and cannot go in household garbage or with other recycling. Visit RecycleMyOil.ca to find the nearest drop off location.
GASOLINE – No news here: Gasoline is highly flammable and can be explosive. It contains benzene, a known carcinogen, and other toxic compounds that can quickly vaporize. Diesel and alternative fuels such as methanol or ethanol also can ignite.
AUTOMOTIVE BATTERIES – Automotive batteries (lead-acid batteries) don’t belong in a landfill. Lead is a heavy metal known to be harmful to people and animals and that can contaminate drinking water supplies.
What you can do
1. Store it safely
Automotive products should live in their original, labeled containers. Also, recovered fluids (such as oil) should be stored in clean, unbreakable child-proof containers that have been tightly sealed and labelled. Remember that storing products in food or beverage containers can lead to accidental consumption, and avoid mixing different products together. Lastly, it is always a good idea to wear protective eyewear and gloves when working with automotive fluids.
2. Dispose of it properly
Landfills are no place for hazardous car care products. Dispose of them properly.
- Lubricating, crankcase, gear oil, and transmission fluid, as well as oil filters and containers, can all be brought to a registered collector, free of charge. Find your nearest drop-off location.
- Old batteries from vehicles can often be exchanged at the automotive supply retailer when a new battery is purchased. Many scrap metal recyclers will also accept these batteries. Find your nearest drop-off location.
- Regional waste management authorities offer drop-offs and collection events where you can bring automotive fluids and other hazardous products from your home. Find your nearest drop-off site.