Certified Collection Center Program


California’s Used Oil Certified Collection Centers (CCC) program provides safe, convenient, and legal places for do-it-yourselfers (DIYers) to drop off used motor oil and oil filters for proper disposal.

  • It is funded by a 24 cents per gallon fee on the cost of lubricating oil.
  • The funds are managed by CalRecycle, which pays incentive claims to CCCs.

CalRecycle also distributes some funds from motor oil fees to jurisdictions to educate the public about recycling oil and filters through the Oil Payment Program (OPP)

Advertising Your CCC Status

Accepting Used Oil Filters

  • You set the amount you will accept.
  • You must accept at least 5 gallons per person per day.
  • You cannot accept more than 55 gallons per person per day.
  • CCCs are urged to accept from DIYers.



Used Oil Certified Collection Center Operators Guide

The Used Oil Certified Collection Center Operators Guide provides information on:

  • Advertising your CCCThe image is a guide illustration showing people recycling automotive fluids and parts at a certified collection center.
  • Accepting Used Oil Filters
  • Choosing a hauler
  • Illegal dumping
  • Managing spills and drips 
  • How to deal with contaminated used oil
Download Guide

Filing for the Used Oil Incentive Payment

CCCs are eligible to apply for used oil incentive payment funds.

You can request funds at two levels:

  • For used motor oil brought to you by DIYers: 40 cents per gallon
  • For used motor oil you generate in your own business: 16 cents per gallon

Tools and Resources

The reimbursement process takes 90 days from the receipt of an incentive claim with no errors. Claims with discrepancies will take longer.

Contaminated Oil Reimbursement Program

If used motor oil is mixed with anything else, including water, it cannot be recycled and must be disposed of as hazardous waste. Some of the costs of contamination might be reimbursable.

How do I deal with contaminated used motor oil?

Screen used oil visually or use a test kit if unsure whether oil is contaminated.

CCCs are not required to accept contaminated used oil.

Direct individuals with contaminated oil to an appropriate hazardous waste facility to manage it through your county’s environmental health department.

If someone abandoned used motor oil outside your site’s property, and you are uncertain if it is contaminated, place the containers in a separate 55-gallon drum to not risk contaminating your main used oil tank.

CalRecycle’s contaminated oil reimbursement program may be able to cover the testing, cleanup, and disposal costs associated with a contaminated oil incident.

OPP funds may be used to pay for testing of used oil, but they cannot be used for cleanup or disposal.

If a hauler picks up contaminated used oil, they can file a claim with CalRecycle below.

  • CalRecycle will only reimburse contamination from halogens up to $5,000 of the actual cleanup costs.
  • Polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) contamination is not subject to that limit, but all contaminated oil reimbursements are limited to funds available in a fiscal year.

Who is Eligible to File for Contaminated Oil Reimbursement?

  • Certified Collection Centers
  • Curbside Collection Programs
  • Publicly funded used oil collection sites located in rural counties
    • Rural counties with an annual disposal volume under 200,000 tons.

What Costs Can be Reimbursed?

CalRecycle can reimburse the additional disposal and clean-up costs of the contaminated oil that exceed the cost of disposing the same amount of uncontaminated oil.

Filing a Reimbursement Application

Fill out a contaminated used oil reimbursement application (CalRecycle 325) to get reimbursed, supplying the following:

  • Lab tests showing the type and level of contamination.
  • A copy of the uniform hazardous waste manifests or manifest receipts showing all transportation of the contaminated oil.
  • Amount of actual total disposal and clean-up costs minus the amount normally charged to pick up the same amount of uncontaminated oil.
  • A copy of the invoice or receipt from a used oil hauler showing the disposal and clean-up costs of the contaminated oil.
  • A detailed explanation of how the event occurred (summary of events) and a copy of the site’s established procedures for preventing future contamination of oil with hazardous waste.

Procedures to Prevent Acceptance of Contaminated Used Oil

Before accepting used oil from the public:

  • Ask the customer if anything has been added to the used oil, such as gasoline, solvents, antifreeze, paint, or other household products.
    • If the customer says they have added a contaminant, do not accept it.
  • Examine the used oil to see if it has signs of layering, dirt or debris floating in it, or has an unusual color or odor.
    • If the used oil appears contaminated, do not accept it.

Certified center operators should post signs to remind both employees and customers not to mix anything with used oil or pour contaminated used oil into storage tanks.

Questions and Answers

Does a CCC ever need to submit a new application?

Yes. The CCC operator must file a new application with CalRecycle when any of the following occurs:

  • A change in the location

  • A change in the operator

  • Expiration of the certificate

  • Ownership change (certificates are not transferrable)

What do I do with abandoned used oil at my premises?

CCC staff should inspect the used oil for contamination.

If the used oil is not contaminated, it may be added to previously collected used oil. 

What do I do with empty used oil containers?

Contact your local public works recycling coordinator to obtain information about collection and recycling of the empty containers.

How do I handle used oil filters?

There are two main categories of used oil filters: filters that have metal housing and cartridge filters that do not have metal housing.

  • Cartridge filters must be handled as hazardous waste.
  • Metal filters may be properly drained and sent to a filter recycler.

For more details, refer to the Department of Toxic Substances Control’s advisory letter on the draining of used oil filters.

Could I get reimbursed for the cost of a new used oil storage tank?

Many local governments receive funding from the used oil payment program, which may be used for costs related to used oil collection such as the purchase of new used oil storage tanks for CCCs.

To check if the jurisdiction near you has oil payment program funding available for a storage tank, contact your local coordinator or a CalRecycle Program Advisor.



Phone (916) 341-6690
UsedOilCCC@CalRecycle.ca.gov (Certification)
UsedOilClaims@CalRecycle.ca.gov (Incentive Claims)

For more information contact: Certified Collection Center, UsedOilCCC@calrecycle.ca.gov or Household Hazardous Waste, UsedOilHHW@calrecycle.ca.gov.