Press Release - 01-19-2016

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Joe Morrissey    [email protected]
Casey McNulty  [email protected]

Benning Delamater     [email protected]

Tuesday, January 19, 2016


Agencies Team Up to Raise Awareness of the Proper Management of Used Oil and Lead-Acid Batteries

The New York State Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) and the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) today reminded New Yorkers of ways they can recycle used oil and lead-acid batteries from their vehicles. New Yorkers are encouraged to reduce, reuse, and recycle whenever possible, especially when handling used oil and lead-acid batteries from vehicles. They could have a dangerous impact on the environment and on the health and safety of New Yorkers if not managed properly.

“DMV takes its responsibility to be green very seriously, which is why we work closely with DEC to get the word out about how important it is to recycle materials, including used oil and lead-acid batteries,” said DMV Executive Deputy Commissioner Terri Egan. “Reduce, reuse, and recycle are mottos we should all adopt for the good of our planet and for our neighbors. I encourage all New Yorkers to become familiar with state law and how to best recycle oil, batteries, and other car parts.”

“The DEC supports DMV as a partner in these awareness efforts as a compliment to DEC’s outreach and educational materials to promote the proper management of these items,” said DEC Acting Commissioner Basil Seggos.  “Recycling these materials as well as recycling all other common materials like paper, metal, glass, and plastics will conserve our natural resources and make a difference for the environment.”

Used oil is usually generated by vehicle repair shops, fleet maintenance facilities, and private citizens who change the motor oil on their own vehicles. State law provides for numerous locations where an individual can return used oil for recycling. Any service establishment that sells at least 500 gallons per year of new oil and services vehicles must, by law, accept used oil from the public at no charge up to five gallons per person, per day. Retailers who do not service vehicles but sell at least 1,000 gallons per year of new oil must either accept used oil from the public, as service establishments do, or contract to have another service or retail establishment accept it on their behalf. Some municipalities in the state also collect used oil as part of their household hazardous waste programs.

Some tips for changing and recycling used oil include:

  • Drain oil pans, containers, and filters completely.
  • Store used oil in a clean, rigid, screw-capped plastic container.
  • Don’t mix used oil with other materials and never dump oil into the environment.
  • Take used oil (up to five gallons per day) to a service station or retail store that sells oil during normal business hours.

Cars, trucks, recreational vehicles, and boats all use lead-acid batteries. It is illegal to dispose of a dead battery in the trash, so New Yorkers should take their dead batteries for recycling to a retail store, distributor, or battery recycling facility. If not properly handled, batteries can leak contaminants into soil and water. Lead is a neurotoxin that can be harmful to kidneys and the reproductive system; even low-level lead exposure can impair a child's mental development. Illegal disposal of lead-acid batteries can result in a civil penalty not to exceed $50 for each violation.

More information about recycling lead-acid batteries:

  • You can give your used battery for recycling to a retailer at the time you purchase a new one. The retailer will charge you a $5 "return incentive payment" if you do not return a used battery when buying a replacement. The retailer who sold you the battery will refund the $5 payment if you return a used battery within 30 days of the purchase date.
  • Retailers are required by law to accept used batteries from customers and distributors must accept used batteries from their retailers.

For more information on recycling, contact your local recycling coordinator or check For more about DMV, click here.