What is it?
Used oil is any petroleum-based or synthetic oil that can no longer be used for its original purpose because of the presence of impurities or the loss of its original properties. Drop-off locations for used oil in the province are provided by the Saskatchewan Association for Resource Recovery Corporation (SARRC). These include specially designed Ecocentres and retailers with accessible drop-off locations.
What is the issue?
One liter of used oil can contaminate one million liters of water. One used oil filter can contain up to 8 ounces/250 ML of used oil. Since many filters are 85% steel, they will take forever to decompose if dumped into a landfill. Plastic containers take up valuable space in the landfill and take hundreds of years to decompose. Burning the plastic containers is harmful to one’s health because dangerous toxins are given off through the burning process.
Where can it go?
There are a number of Ecocentres and retailers across the province that provide drop-off sites for used oil. An Ecocentre is a fully serviced centre where consumers and small business owners can drop off their used oil, oil filters, oil containers, antifreeze containers, diesel exhaust fluid containers and antifreeze for recycling. Check out our Waste Reduction Hub for places in your area that accept these products. For businesses, SARRC has registered collectors (link to list of registered collectors) who will pick up the oil directly and deliver it to processors who recycle the products.
What happens after?
Used oil is re-refined to lubricant quality. It is also used as industrial heating oil or reprocessed into other petroleum products. Filters are processed at steel recycling mills and turned into other metal products such as construction rebar, angle iron, and pipe. Plastic containers are recycled into new containers, plastic durable goods such as flower pots, pipe, guardrail posts, fencing and patio furniture.
How can I reduce?
To prevent spills, use a drip pan and oil spout when changing engine oil.
Use empty oil containers to return your used oil in.
Diving fewer kilometers extends the time between oil changes.