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New oil recycling containers will benefit Haida Gwaii

Recycling depots accept used oil, filters, antifreeze at no cost
Danielle Kidd, BC Used Oil Recycling Center operator, at the Port Clements facility on April 26. (Photo: supplied).

New oil recycling centre containers will benefit the communities of Skidegate and Port Clements thanks to an infrastructure grant worth more than $22,000 from the BC Used Oil Management Association, the company stated on May 4.

The recycling depots will accept used oil, oil filters, used antifreeze, and empty oil and antifreeze containers at no cost to residents. The materials will then be picked up and transported to processing plants to be made into new products.

While the communities had existing oil recycling programs, the new modified sea containers are a major upgrade, said David Lawes, CEO of the BC Used Oil Management Association. They will include a grated floor, better signage for the public and can be outfitted with tanks.

“We believe they’re the best in the world,” Lawes said.

In addition to the new infrastructure, BC Used Oil Management Association is compensating the North Coast Regional District for the volume of materials collected. They also provide training opportunities to the operators.

Lawes said that 75 per cent of the oil returned gets processed back into useable automotive oil and 100 per cent of the antifreeze gets turned into useable products. The oil filters are crushed and metal is extracted to be sold for new products. Similarly, the containers are turned into plastic pellets and used as inputs for new manufacturing.

“When these materials are not properly collected and processed it is not good for anybody. It’s not good for the environment or for human health,” Lawes said.

He explained when oil sits around it becomes less likely that it can be turned into new products later on because it can become contaminated.

“As we put infrastructure and facilities into areas like Skidegate and Port Clements, it raises the interest in areas that are a little more remote,” said Lawes.

BC Used Oil Management Association is looking to establish more oil recycling programs, particularly in rural communities. Lawes said interested communities can contact them and they will walk them through the set up process and receiving the necessary infrastructure.

“Our entire reason for being is to collect and recycle used lubricating oil, oil filters, oil containers, used antifreeze and antifreeze containers. Our goal is to provide British Columbians with an eco-friendly and cost-effective way to recycle these products,” stated the BC Used Oil Management Association.

 Kaitlyn Bailey | Local Journalism Initiative Reporter
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