Motor Oil Containers (Empty) Alternative ways to recycle Illegal in Garbage or Drains Hazardous Waste Empty But Still Hazardous Any leftover motor oil or residue is hazardous. Empty motor oil containers must be treated as Household Hazardous Waste (HHW). Do Not Store Other Chemicals in Empties Adding other chemicals into an empty motor oil bottle is dangerous. You can inadvertently create toxic byproducts when the chemicals mix with the motor oil residue. Alternative Ways to Recycle Take to Service Stations Just like with used motor oil and filters, you can take empty motor oil containers to an auto shop or service station. Find one that’s certified. Did You Know? What Happens to Recycled Motor Oil Used motor oil can be cleaned and recycled, which helps keep it out of waterways. Recycled oil is then used to make heating oil, asphalt and other petroleum-based products; it is usually not recycled and resold as motor oil.