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FAQ

Which used oil products can be recycled?

Oil – any petroleum or synthetic crankcase oil, engine oil, hydraulic fluid, transmission fluid, gear oil, heat transfer fluid or other fluid used for lubricating purposes in machinery or equipment.

Oil Filters – any spin-on or element oil filter used in hydraulic, transmission or internal combustion engine applications – includes diesel fuel filters but does not include gasoline fuel filters.

Oil Containers – any plastic container with a capacity of less than 30 litres that is manufactured to hold oil.

What happens to the products collected by BCUOMA?

Collected products are managed in accordance with the Pollution Prevention Hierarchy as outlined in the BC Recycling Regulation.

  • USED OIL: Oil previously sold as lubricating oil is collected, refined and reused as lubricating oil. Some oil is collected, transformed and recycled as a new energy product. This includes re-refining and use as a fuel for pulp mills, cement kilns, asphalt plants and other uses that meet the Hazardous Waste Regulation or applicable government standards in other states or provinces, such as for mining explosives or exploration drilling.
  • USED ANTIFREEZE: Antifreeze previously sold as an antifreeze product is refined and reused as an antifreeze product. Antifreeze processors are already actively involved in processing used antifreeze to the point where an additive package can be included and the recycled antifreeze can again be sold as automotive.
  • OIL FILTERS: Metal filters are collected and recycled into other metal products. Paper filters that cannot feasibly be recycled are managed so a portion of the inherent energy can be recovered.
  • CONTAINERS: Plastic and metal containers are recycled into new plastic and metal products. BCUOMA are proud of the fact that both used antifreeze and empty containers are processed and recycled at facilities right here in British Columbia. Managing these products locally provides significant environmental, economic and social benefits that support our transition to a more sustainable and Circular Economy.

Why do we need a used oil program?

There was a time when people didn’t think twice about simply throwing away or dumping oil products. Today, we are more aware that irresponsible disposal methods not only harm the environment, but also waste a valuable non-renewable resource.

Each year, about 215 million litres of new oil are sold across western Canada. Most of that oil is not consumed during use and is available to be recycled.

And it’s not just used oil that presents a hazard to the environment if it is improperly discarded. After you pour the oil into your car, boat, lawn mower, tractor or other motors, there is residual oil in the plastic containers that can be recovered. Used oil filters and plastic oil containers can also be recycled into other useful products. Used antifreeze can be recycled into new antifreeze.

Through the BC Used Oil Management Association program, British Columbians can now:

  1. Recover more used oil, filters and containers
  2. Extend the life of a non-renewable natural resource
  3. Provide the recycling industry with oil, plastic and steel
  4. Decrease pollution caused by improper disposal
  5. Reduce the amount of non-biodegradable materials in our landfills

How can I avoid cross-contamination of materials?

Here are some tips on how to ensure the oil you recycle is safe from cross-contamination:

– Keep materials in their original containers, or ensure that the containers are well labelled.
– Do not mix different products together.
– Tightly cap all containers.
– Contact the Recycling Council of BC or your local government (Municipality or Regional District) for advice on how to manage HHW in your community.

What do BCUOMA, Alberta Recycling Management Authority, SARRC, MARRC and SOGHU do?

The five associations that guide the Canadian used oil recycling programs exist to promote and facilitate the recovery of valuable, non-renewable resources by providing both larger commercial generators and consumers (small volume users such as do-it-yourselfers and farmers) with a simple, convenient way to dispose of used oil, used oil filters and used oil containers. Each province operates a single, comprehensive, cost-effective, sustainable and province-wide program.

Our work has created new business opportunities by promoting the expansion of a strong and competitive private-sector recycling industry. The programs are self-sustaining – no government funding is required. They also afford the efficiency and effectiveness of an industry-managed program requiring minimal regulation.

The five provincial associations work cooperatively to market and manage programs for consumers, members and collectors.

How do the Used Oil Associations operate?

Government-Approved Program – No government funds are used for Canada’s used oil materials recycling programs. The provincial associations (BCUOMA, Alberta Recycling Management Authority, SARRC, MARRC and SOGHU) generate their own revenue and manage their own funds and their own debts.

The programs reflect principles that consumers, industry and government share responsibility for environmentally sound management of used oil materials and ensuring the viability of their used oil materials recycling programs.

In British Columbia: BCUOMA operates the Used Oil Materials Stewardship Program in accordance with the requirements of the provincial Recycling Regulation under the Ministry of Environment.

In Alberta:  Alberta Recycling Management Authority; Used Oil Recycling Alberta is approved by Alberta Environmental Protection under the Lubricating Oil Materials Recycling and Management Regulation.

In Saskatchewan: The provincial government, principally through Saskatchewan Environment (SE) regulates and monitors the SARRC Program under The Used Oil Collection Regulations enacted in June 1996.

In Manitoba: The provincial government, principally through Manitoba Conservation, regulates and monitors the MARRC Program under the Used Oil, Oil Filter and Container Stewardship Regulation enacted in April 1997. Manitoba Conservation maintains a registry of licensed return depots, EcoCentres, collectors and receivers of used oil materials.

In Quebec: SOGHU was incorporated in accordance with Part III of the Companies Act (Quebec) to fulfil the requirements of the Regulation respecting used oil material recovery and reclamation. SOGHU is governed by the Regulation and by the Agreement with Recyc-Quebec.