VICTORIA -- Disposing of used motor oil in the Victoria area just got a little easier and safer thanks to a not-for-profit group dedicated to collecting and recycling lubricating oil, filters and oil containers, as well as antifreeze and antifreeze containers.

The B.C. Used Oil Management Association (BCUOMA), has added two new oil recycling facilities across B.C. and upgraded seven others in the past three months, including one at the Hartland Landfill.

Grants from the BCUOMA provided modified sea containers and large tanks, depending on each recycling centre’s needs.

“These new and upgraded used oil recycling facilities will ensure the responsible collection and management of used oil, antifreeze, filters and containers,” said David Lawes, CEO of the BCUOMA. “We are dedicated to providing British Columbians with environmentally safe, free to use, and convenient RCFs (return collection facilities).”

The new 20-foot modified shipping container at Hartland Landfill’s recycling depot will enhance staff's ability to collect used oil.

When people drop off their used oil, it is poured into a storage tank and then the plastic containers are put in large plastic bags and stored in the shipping container. Storage of the bags can be messy and environmentally harmful if not dealt with correctly.

The shipping container has a steel, grated floor that allows any oil residue to pass through onto the floor beneath and be collected where it can be safely cleaned up.

“It takes all the drips that come out of the bags and makes sure that oil doesn’t get spread on the ground," said Lawes. "If the oil is collected properly – same with the plastic containers – it can easily be recycled into new products."

Used oil is a valuable resource and can be re-refined into new lubricating oil, he said.

Used oil filters also contain reusable scrap metal, and used antifreeze is reprocessed to produce new antifreeze. Plastic oil and antifreeze containers are recycled into new oil containers, flowerpots, pipe, guardrails, and patio furniture.

Each year, approximately 50 million litres of oil, and three million litres of antifreeze are collected through the approximately 300 public collection facilities across the province, which are managed by the BCUOMA program.

In 2019, the BCUOMA collected more than 51 million litres of used oil, the most in the program’s history.

The BCUOMA says it continues to look for opportunities to upgrade and improve recycling facility locations across the province in order to provide British Columbians with reasonable access to convenient and free used oil recycling centres.