How is Used Oil Recycled?

Every year, people use and recycle millions of gallons of oil in New Zealand. Used oil, which serves as lubricant, hydraulic fluid, buoyant, and other similar functions, can undergo recycling to serve the same purpose. Alternatively, you can use it in a completely different way.

Many types of businesses handle used oil at different levels. Generators, such as car repair shops, boat marinas, and metalworking shops, are the biggest sector of the used oil industry. There are also collectors, transporters, and processors, all of whom play a role in the recycling process of used oil.

Typically, there are four ways used oil is recycled to extend its life.


People recondition used oil by having the physical impurities removed. Although this type of recycling will not actually bring back the oil’s original condition, it does eliminate the contaminants that prevent the oil from recycling.

Used as feedstock

Some oil and petroleum refineries accept used oil as fuel to provide power to their machines and facilities.


This is the preferred form of recycling used oil, because it eliminates the physical and chemical impurities and brings back the optimum condition of the oil. The result is oil with the properties of virgin oil but uses far less energy of the actual virgin oil.

Some car manufacturers even prefer re-refined oil for some of their newer models.

Processed for energy

You remove any water or particulate matter found in the oil so you can use it for energy in industrial applications. The recycled oil used for power can produce the same amount of energy as regular oil.

Motor oil does not wear out; it only gets dirty. By running it through the various processes of reconditioning and re-refining, motor oil can become like new again.