How to Dispose of Old Home Heating Oil

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Remember to keep children and pets away from the oil during the disposal process.

If you have an abandoned or replaced oil heating tank on your property, it may contain old home heating oil that you need to dispose of. If this is the case, you will have to follow the environmental safety guidelines set forth by your state when you throw it away. If you plan to get rid of the heating tank, you will need to first drain the old home heating oil and discard it properly.


Step 1

Call your local public works department to inquire about the process of disposing of home heating oil. Since home heating oil is considered a hazardous waste, your town or county may offer free pick up of these materials. If not, you will have to transport the oil to your local ecological processing center.


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Step 2

Keep your old home heating oil in closed storage containers or jugs that have the size and capacity to hold the liquid. Retailers like For Fluids sell oil drums in different liter sizes that you can use to store the oil (see Resources). Use a funnel specifically made for use with oil to get the old heating oil into these containers safely. Wear gloves when handling the oil. Your township will likely place restrictions on how much home heating oil can be disposed of at a given time.


Step 3

Label the old home heating oil prior to disposal. Do not mix different types of oils when disposing of it and clearly label each container.

Step 4

Transport the home heating oil to the recycling center. Make sure the lids are secured and use a truck with an open bed if possible. The recycling center staff will give you further instructions once you arrive.


Step 5

Contact a local firm that professionally disposes of home heating oil and tanks. If you don't feel comfortable working with these substances, look for local home heating oil maintenance firms to assist you with the job.