Maui Discussion

Ask the Mayor: How Should I Dispose of Used Motor Oil?

May 14, 2017, 12:05 PM HST
* Updated May 12, 4:13 PM
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Mayor Alan Arakawa answers some of the questions submitted to his staff.

Motor oil check. Maui Now image.

Submit your own questions about County of Maui programs, services, operations or policies to Mayor Alan Arakawa at [email protected], 270-7855 or mail them to 200 S. High St., 9th Floor, Wailuku, HI 96793.

Questions submitted will be considered for inclusion in the “Ask the Mayor” column.

Aloha Mayor Arakawa,

Q: I recently learned that the County stopped the used motor oil recycling program. How are we supposed to dispose of our used oil now? The state of California actually pays $.25 per quart of used oil upon recycling. It then gets sold to the freight liners to burn as fuel. Is there a possibility Maui County can work out a similar deal to continue the oil recycling program?


A: The County of Maui’s Used Motor Oil Program for home mechanics was recently reinstated a month ahead of schedule after being suspended in February due to a lack of State funding support. And you’re right, this recycling program is one of the County’s most environmentally important recycling initiatives, as one gallon of UMO dumped on the ground has the potential to contaminate millions of gallon of water; it’s also important because residents who change their own motor oil turn in over 21,000 gallons of UMO per year.


The Maui County Council stepped up to the plate and granted the Environmental Protection & Sustainability’s supplemental budget request of $126,875 to fund the program for the remainder of this fiscal year, and allocated funds for the UMO program in the County’s FY 18 budget. An upcountry UMO site is needed, and interested businesses should call the Recycling Maui County Hotline at 270-7880. For more information, and a list of used motor oil collection sites on Maui, Molokai and Lanai, please visit

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