Disposing of Oil

Social IssuesEnvironment

  • Author Copperrock
  • Published May 4, 2022
  • Word count 465

Did you know that each year, close to 500 million litres of lubricating oil is sold in Australia? Lubricating oil is the oil used in engines, and while some engines (such as two-stroke lawnmower engines) burn oil completely, others like machinery and motor vehicle engines produce large volumes of used oil that can be reclaimed and reused. At CopperRock Recycling centre, we accept this used oil for recycling for a small fee. 

Similarly, cooking oil needs to be disposed of correctly. Unfortunately, we cannot accept cooking oil for recycling at CopperRock. However, there are many local companies that can collect your cooking oil waste - such as Your Oil Man, and Cookers.

If disposed of incorrectly, used oil has the potential to pollute land, water and infrastructure. It takes only one litre of oil to contaminate one million litres of water and a single automotive oil change produces 4 to 5 litres of used oil. There are at least 250 million litres of used oil generated in Australia every year.  

But it’s not just oil waste that’s a landfill hazard, it’s also the packaging that oil comes in - particularly lubricating oils due to residual oil contamination. Hence, why we cannot accept your empty oil container at Copper Rock. There are approximately 3,050 tonnes of contaminated small volume motor vehicle oil containers sent to landfill each year. Though this number is actually thought to be higher than that when you take into account the full range of petroleum-based oil lubricants available. To tackle this issue, the Australian Packaging Covenant Organisation (APCO), under the Australia, New Zealand, and Pacific Islands Plastics Pact (ANZPAC), has received funding to develop a national product stewardship scheme for the recovery and reprocessing of used oil containers. 

 

APCO has completed stage one of the project which includes understanding the current landscape for oil containers and developing preliminary scheme design options. They’re working to have the scheme design finalised and an implementation plan by March 2023.

The high-level scope of the project includes investigation of: 

• The collection and recycling of high-density polyethylene (HDPE) motor oil containers sold in Australia up to 20 litres in capacity. 

• Labelling and public education. 

• The potential for packaging re-use models. 

• End-markets and use of recycled content.

Once the project is implemented a whole supply chain approach will be adopted to ensure industry engagement in the design of an efficient and effective scheme which aims to: 

• Increase the recovery of oil containers up to 20 litres. 

• Reduce the impact of oil bottles on the environment and human health. 

• Investigate innovative advanced recycling technology and alternative reuse models for oil bottles. 

• Establish recovery targets in line with the ANZPAC Plastics Pact.

To learn more about the project or stay up to date on its progress visit the ANZPAC website under ‘delivering product stewardship’.

CopperRock are a local skip bin hire, garden supplies and waste & recycling centre servicing Melbourne Bayside suburbs. For years, the team at CopperRock have been industry leaders, consisting of experienced specialists who truly care about recycling, re-using and removing rubbish in a prompt, professional way. Visit our website to learn more - https://www.copperrock.com.au/.

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