Which used oil products can be recycled?
What products are made from used oil?
What do BCUOMA, Alberta Recycling Management Authority, SARRC, MARRC and SOGHU do?
How do the Used Oil Associations operate?
Why a used oil program?
Why recycle antifreeze?
What should I do with used antifreeze?
Why is the Environmental Handling Charge (EHC) on a 4 litre antifreeze container double the cost for the same size of an oil container?
How does the new EHC on antifreeze affect consumers?
How can I avoid cross-contamination of materials?
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.
There is a market for used oil. Re-refining used oil completely restores the original lubricating properties of the oil and takes about one-third of the energy of refining crude oil to lubricant quality.
- Recycled oil is also used extensively in the production of asphalt for roads and highways. It can also be burned for energy in pulp mills.
- Oil filters crushed to remove the oil and the metal is sold to steel mills to make other metal products such as rebar, nails and wire.
- Empty plastic oil bottles can be recycled into new containers, plastic flowerpots, plastic pipe, guardrails, fence posts and plastic patio furniture.
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.
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.
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. With a program and proper return facilities now established, Western Canadians can:
- Recover more used oil, filters and containers
- Extend the life of a non-renewable natural resource
- Provide the recycling industry with oil, plastic and steel
- Decrease pollution caused by improper disposal
- Reduce the amount of non-biodegradable materials in our landfills
Used antifreeze contains heavy metals and other impurities that must be has handled with care to both protect the environment and ensure that pets do not inadvertently ingest it. Like oil, antifreeze is also a product that is highly recyclable, with most of the used antifreeze being recycled into new automotive antifreeze. It is then sold to customers in BC. The antifreeze containers are collected together with oil containers. They are recycled to make new oil and antifreeze containers and other plastic products.
Never pour used antifreeze down the drain or in the street. Both ethylene glycol and propylene glycol are toxic. Used antifreeze also picks up heavy metals, like lead, from engines while in use that should not be released to the environment. Take your used antifreeze in the antifreeze container to the nearest return collection facility during regular business hours.
The EHC on a 4 litre container of antifreeze is $0.20/litre for antifreeze, and $0.10/litre of antifreeze container for a total of $1.20, compared to $0.05/litre for the oil and $0.10/litre for the oil container, for a total of $0.60. The amount that BCUOMA pays to the Registered Collectors to pick up the used antifreeze is 5 times more expensive in the Lower Mainland area of British Columbia than it is for used oil ($0.25/litre vs. $0.05/litre). The reason for the higher EHC is due to the higher cost of collecting and processing the used antifreeze for sale. The cost for collection and recycling of the antifreeze containers are the same as for the oil containers.
The EHC will only affect those consumers who own vehicles or use antifreeze for other purposes. For vehicle owners who take their vehicles to commercial auto service centresto have their antifreeze changed, there should be almost no increase in cost. Prior to July 1st of this year, the auto service centres were paying collectors between $55 to $85 to have a 205 litre drum of antifreeze collected and recycled. After July 1, 2011, most of the service centres will have their antifreeze picked up at no cost, since BCUOMA will be paying the registered collector to have it picked up. By moving the cost to the front end, when the purchase of new antifreeze occurs, it removes the disincentive at the back end when the decision is made whether or not to properly recycle the used antifreeze.
For the do-it-yourselfer who changes their own antifreeze, there will be the additional charge of $0.20/litre for the antifreeze and $0.10/litre of container. For this cost, the do-it-yourselfer will now have places where they can take back their used antifreeze at no charge, to have it recycled.
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.