The disposal of empty oil containers is tricky and hazardous. The UK policies on handling and discarding used oil containers vary based on municipalities and subsequent regulations. This article provides you with some basic information about what qualifies empty oil containers as waste, and the safety tips for the waste disposal.

What Qualifies As A Waste Oil Container?

Oil becomes waste when it can no longer be used in line with the buyer’s original intentions. Similarly, empty oil containers get old or damaged to the extent that they can’t hold motor oil without spillage or leakages.

A leaking oil container can cause contamination and damages to essential items in a store or garage. Therefore, it makes no more sense keeping it in your garage, discarding it becomes the best option.

Dangers of Empty Oil Containers

Empty oil containers are potential contaminants. If you aren’t aware of the risks of oil waste, you may end up exposing your valuable items to risks caused by a leaking container. Therefore, empty oil containers, either old or damaged, require proper disposal to save your valuables and protect the environment.

Safe Disposal for Empty Oil Containers

This guide will help you discard your waste oil containers safely:

  1. Determine the content first

If you want to dispose of your oil container, know its content. Know the oil that you’ve been storing in it. If you aren’t sure, you may choose a dangerous disposal method that may leave you nursing injuries.

2.  Handle with care

Any time you handle potentially hazardous or contaminated materials, it’s imperative to be cautious. Waste oils can cause injuries or illnesses, so, when disposing of the oil container, you should be in personal protective equipment approved by EPA. Avoid eating, drinking or handling other objects when disposing of the oily waste.

3. Use them to make mini flowers

Empty oil containers can make perfect flower vases, especially if they're of different colours. If you arrange them well with a variety of wildflowers, they'll great in the centre of your living room.

4. Burning

Some people opt to burn plastic oil containers, either because they’re non-recyclable or to minimize the disposal costs. If you opt to burn your waste containers, do it efficiently. Inefficient burning of oily wastes releases oil toxins into the air, which later become hazardous pollutants to the environment. Inhaling such toxins is risky for our health. Disposing of oil containers properly is the only way to guarantee you that you’re living in a safe environment.

5. Contact a local recycling centre

Oil recyclers always have a way to refine oil containers and repackage them with oil. Check with your area oil recycling centre to see if they accept empty oil containers.


The disposal of empty oil containers is a delicate issue. I hope that these tips will help you identify the most suitable disposal method to enhance environmental and public health safety. If in doubt, consider contacting your local authority for more guidelines regarding the disposal of empty oil containers.