Used motor oil is a hazardous substance that requires special handling. Do not place motor oil in the trash or recycling and never dump it in sewers or household drains.

The City of Madison has three drop-off sites for used motor oil and used oil filters that are managed by the Engineering Division. These public sites are always open, unless otherwise closed for testing. You must empty your oil into a tank and dispose of used oil filters in the labeled receptacles on site.

Used motor oil can be re-refined into base stock for lubricating oil and other uses. However, oil that is contaminated with PCBs is considered hazardous waste and can only be accepted by hazardous waste contractors. The City works with Future Environmental, of Madison, Wis., to test the oil at the site every two weeks to make sure PCBs are not in the recycled oil. This means the sites are locked out for a temporary amount of time while testing for PCBs is done.

While the sites are usually open everyday around the clock, the time it takes to test the oil requires a temporary lock out while the tests are run. In this process, the tanks are locked out for approximately 28 hours. Once the results from the lab are back in, the tank is pumped empty, and the lock is removed. Tanks are locked out once every two weeks, typically from Thursday at 10 a.m. until Friday at 2 p.m.

For questions on the public waste oil recycling sites email or call 608-267-9408.

In addition to the public sites, there are several area businesses that will accept used oil from the public.

General Guidelines

  • Used motor oil, transmission fluid, and brake fluid only. No gasoline, antifreeze or cleaning solvents. For cooking oil recycling...
  • Take gasoline, kerosene, fuel oil, and similar chemicals to Dane County Clean Sweep, 608-838-3212.
  • Empty oil bottles should be put in the trash. Do not recycle empty oil bottles.

City Waste Oil Drop-off Locations for the Public

Open locations

  • East: the Former City Garage, First and East Johnson Streets (200 N. First St.) 
  • East: Monona Golf Course, Monona Drive and East Dean Avenue (111 E Dean Ave)
  • Northeast: School/Wheeler Rd (902 Wheeler Rd).

Closed locations

  • West: CLOSED. The Glenway Golf Course site is closed due to contamination. Use one of the other sites or see a list of alternatives below.
  • South: CLOSED.  The site at the Dane County Highway Garage (2302 Fish Hatchery Rd) is closed due to contamination. For additional information about this site contact the Dane County Highway Department at (608) 266-4261.

Businesses who will accept used oil from the public

Check the Dane County Recycling & Disposal Directory for a list of businesses that may accept motor oil and filters. Some may charge a fee, so be sure to contact them before arriving.