While it may not seem the most likely thing to haul down to the recycling depot, used oil, anti-freeze and filters are enjoying a recycling renaissance in the Shuswap.
With help from the B.C. Used Oil Management Association, the Salmon Arm landfill has been set up with a facility to recycle used oil and anti-freeze as well as oil filters and containers. The association works with industry partners to ensure that used motor oil and other oil products are properly recycled and re-used.
“In the last year or so we are upgrading our infrastructure at the public collection sites, and we make sure all the stuff that is collected at those facilities gets transported to a registered processing facility, recycling or reuse facility and make sure that it is managed responsibly,” says David Lawes, executive director of the B.C. Used Oil Management Association.
After collection at these recycling or reuse facilities, all oil and anti-freeze products in B.C. are processed within the province and turned back into new lubricating oil or anti-freeze and re-sold.
“It’s a circular economy product as they call it,” Lawes says. “As long as it is not that contaminated, a consumer can get it back to one of our facilities, as long as they don’t leave it sitting out for too long…, we can get it to one of our registered re-refineries.”
The recycling facility at the Salmon Arm landfill includes a modified sea container with a spill containment area, instructional signage to help consumers understand the recycling process and double-walled oil tanks to hold the used oil, anti-freeze and filters. These oil recycling initiatives are beginning to spring up at municipal landfills across B.C. but Salmon Arm is among the first to have this in place.
“The CSRD staff has been really good working with us; we have a facility set up in Revelstoke as well and have plans to put one in Golden and other places of need,” Lawes says.
Of all the used oil that is recycled in B.C., Lawes says only about four per cent comes from DIY (do-it-yourself) consumers who change their own oil, with the majority coming from businesses with a recycling process set up through the association. They are working to target DIY consumers with these new recycling facilities and hope to see a rise in people bringing their used oil to be recycled at the landfill.
“We are also working with local governments that want to work with us on sort of local or community advertising, and we want to do some more direct marketing to that DIY user group, those car enthusiasts and that kind of stuff,” Lawes says.
The Salmon Arm Used Oil Recycling Centre is open every Saturday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., changing to 9 to 4 on Nov. 1.