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Used Motor Oil and other Automotive Wastes

Drawing of an oil bottleThe Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle) has an enormous website filled with resources about used motor oil recycling. There is some basic information at including a link to a database of used oil recycling locations that can be searched by zip code, city or county.

The US Environmental Protection Agency has a campaign to encourage recycling of motor oil called “you dump it, you drink it.” There are various resources including art for download and publications in English and Spanish.

For more information on automotive wastes, here is a site geared to automotive professionals. It is very us er-friendly, including an interactive “virtual shop” with links to information on proper handling and disposal of many materials.

A Bay Area organization called Sustainable Conservation has a project on auto recycling. Some materials are aimed at workers in the auto dismantling industry and include information in Spanish.

For general information on how to change motor oil and filters, 2 good sites: (a video plus written instructions) type “oil change” into the search window to find articles on changing oil in a car or motorcycle.

Most car owners change their oil more often than necessary. Your students who have their oil changed at a service station as well as those who change their own can save money by following manufacturer’s recommendations rather than changing every 3000 miles. Detailed information is at

What set of car resources would be complete without Car Talk, National Public Radio’s very funny and informative call-in show? The web site has a lot of useful as well as funny material:

Here’s a fun video about recycling of used motor oil, produced by Orange County CA


General Recycling and other Environmental  Information

The California Integrated Waste Management Board and the California Department of Conservation have been combined as of January 1, 2010, into a new agency called “CalRecycle.” The web site will be evolving over the coming months, but may be explored from the home page From the home page, the easiest way to get a broad overview of the subjects available is to choose the “Recycling” tab in the middle of the page, and then “More recycling information.”

The US Environmental Protection Agency has educational materials on recycling including activities and games for three levels of kids. Some of these may be useful for ESL adult learners as well. Some materials are also in Spanish. has all kinds of environmental information including locators searchable by zip code. There are also articles on many topics, and an events listing searchable by zip code.

The Northern California Recycling Association is a professional organization of people in the recycling field. The site includes an excellent page of “Resources” with links to regional, state, and national information.

There’s a delightful animated video called “The Story of Stuff” at It, and other recent additions “The Story of Electronics,” “The Story of Bottled Water,” and “The Story of Cap & Trade” can all be viewed online, or downloaded. Note that it can be ordered in many sub-titled languages including English.

A set of ESL lessons on environmental topics is at

Breaking News English has a page of links to articles on environmental topics:

There are many on-line environmental publications.  Some good ones:

Resources by County

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