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Safety-Kleen launches used oil recycling program in Quebec

Safety-Kleen Canada recently launched a used oil recovery program to recycle used motor and lubricating oils it col...


Safety-Kleen Canada recently launched a used oil recovery program to recycle used motor and lubricating oils it collects in Quebec.

Pierre Gendron, Safety-Kleen’s Quebec market manager, announced on January 3, 2005 that the company has established a program to guarantee that used oil can be collected and recycled back into high-quality oils for use in Quebec — and not burned in facilities that produce air pollution.

Safety-Kleen is the world’s largest re-refiner of used motor oil, and is Canada’s largest collector, re-refiner and recycler of used motor oil and industrial solvents. Used oil collected in Quebec is re-refined at Safety-Kleen’s facility in Breslau, Ontario and then returned for re-sale in Quebec.

The new Safety-Kleen used oil program is an alternative to a used oil collection and burning program designed by the Canadian Petroleum Products Institute (CPPI) and recently proposed by Recyc-Quebec, a Quebec government agency, and Socit de Gestion des Huiles Usages (SOGHU), a group of large lubricating oil brand-owners, including major members of CPPI. The companies mainly produce lubricating oil from virgin crude oil imported from the Middle East, South America and Western Canada. If this program is implemented in Quebec, Safety-Kleen is concerned that it will lose its supply of used oil to those who would burn it.

According to Mr. Gendron, the SOGHU program encourages the burning of used oil as a one-time fuel, and that oil then has to be replaced. He says the choice for consumers and the environment is clear reuse and recycling, or pollution and continued dependence on imported oil.

Safety-Kleen has filed a legal challenge to the SOGHU program, alleging that it is inconsistent with the Government of Quebec waste reduction policies, which promote the reuse and recycling of resources, and also ignores a Supreme Court of Canada ruling about environmental measures anticipating, preventing and attacking causes of environmental degradation.

Safety-Kleen’s program is designed to be a simple and effective, using an “extended producer responsibility” approach to environmental stewardship that is endorsed by the Quebec Government, the European Union (EU) and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). Under the program, any Safety-Kleen Performance Plus lubricating oil customer that designates Safety-Kleen as its collector for used oil and used oil containers will not be charged any environmental charges, fees or levies on its purchases of oil and oil containers, and Safety-Kleen will pick up the used oil and used oil containers for free.

Meanwhile, under the program proposed by SOGHU, consumers would be charged an additional 5 cents on every liter of lubricating oil they buy, and another 5 cents for every liter of container size on a 4-liter jug of oil, consumers would pay an additional 40 cents. Aerosol containers and oil filters will also be subjected to fees ranging from 25 cents to $1. A portion of the money raised by these environmental charges would be paid to SOGHU-approved collectors, who would collect the used oil, but then ship it off to be burned as a fuel in facilities such as asphalt plants, greenhouses and cement kilns.

In 2004, Safety-Kleen’s Breslau plant re-refined approximately 152 million litres of used lubricating oil collected from thousands of generators across Ontario, Quebec, Alberta and the northeastern United States. It is estimated that re-refining that used oil, rather than burning it as fuel, avoided the emission of approximately 2 metric tonnes of lead, 19 tonnes of hydrochloric acid, 242 kilograms of chromium, 781 tonnes of particulates and greenhouse gases, and more than 300,000 metric tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent.

For further information, contact Pierre Gendron at 450-464-6085


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