Disposal of Hydraulic Oil

Written by brad chacos
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Hydraulic oil damages the environment and contaminates water sources if it isn't disposed of correctly. While most individuals don't have to worry about hydraulic oil disposal, owners of farms and warehouses with heavy machinery should identify local oil recycling stations. Several heavy machines, including farm equipment and pallet jacks, transfer energy from portion of the machine to another using hydraulic cylinders filled with hydraulic oil. The hydraulic oil in the cylinders is drained and replaced periodically during routine maintenance, and the used hydraulic oil should be removed using proper disposal procedures.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy


  1. 1

    Drain the hydraulic oil using the proper technique for your specific machine. Consult the machine's user manual for the oil-draining procedure.

  2. 2

    Transfer the hydraulic oil to a metal or thick plastic sealable storage container, such as a metal can or used motor oil container. Clean the container prior to transferring the hydraulic oil into it to avoid contamination. Secure the container's lid tightly once all the hydraulic oil has been transferred.

  3. 3

    Find a recycling centre near you that accepts used motor oil. You can find this information online.

  4. 4

    Bring the used hydraulic oil to the recycling centre. Most recycling centres take used oil for free or at little cost.

Tips and warnings

  • Hydraulic oil and motor oil can be mixed together for recycling purposes.
  • You can also contact your local waste management bureau for information on nearby oil recycling centres.
  • Do not mix used hydraulic oil with anything other than transmission fluid or motor oil for recycling.
  • Improper disposal of waste oils is a crime.

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