July 22, 2003

B.C. institutes new used oil recycling program

New Westminster, BC – In British Columbia, an industry-led lubricating oil recycling program replaces the current return-to-retailer model, effective July 22, 2003. Now used oil filters and used plastic oil containers (up to 30 litre size) will be included along with used oil. The program will be managed by the British Columbia Used Oil Management Association (BCUOMA), a non-profit, industry-led organization.

“We are delivering a new era of environmental management based on sound science, cleaner air, cleaner water and sustainable practices,” said Water, Land and Air Protection Minister Joyce Murray. “This industry-led expansion creates new opportunities for BC-based businesses and improves environmental protection in the province.”

The program is funded by an Environmental Handling Charge (EHC) assessed on new oil, filters and plastic oil containers. The EHC is not a government tax, but a user-pay levy to be used by BCUOMA solely for funding the collection of used oil, used oil filters and used plastic oil containers. It is not a deposit/refund system.

In 2002, approximately 75 million litres of used oil; 7 million oil filters and 2.2 million kilograms of used plastic oil containers were available for collection and recycling in British Columbia. But ONLY 61% of the oil; 17% of the filters and 12% of the plastic oil containers were collected.

The program targets individuals and small commercial or industrial users and will boost collection and recycling by creating financial incentives and increasing access to year-round, approved collection facilities. The network presently stands at over 400 and is growing weekly.

Used oil can be restored and reused as lubricating oil, in the manufacture of asphalt concrete, or converted into fuel for approved uses such as cement kilns. The filters contain 85% steel and are crushed and become rebar for concrete construction. The empty plastic oil containers become fencing, highway guardrail posts, parking curbs, plastic plumbing pipes, garden furniture and new oil containers.

For information on used oil recycling and the location of the nearest year-round approved return collection facility, visit www.usedoilrecycling.com

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