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Safety-Kleen wins sustainable technology award

Safety-Kleen Canada Inc., Canada's largest used motor oil re-refiner and collector of used oil, has won the Recycli...


Safety-Kleen Canada Inc., Canada’s largest used motor oil re-refiner and collector of used oil, has won the Recycling Council of Ontario’s platinum Sustainable Technology Award for its used motor oil re-refining operations in Breslau, Ontario. (See news item on RCO Waste Minimization Awards on this website.)

“Safety-Kleen’s program for recovery and re-refining of used motor oil sets an ideal model for closing the loop on waste materials,” said Jo-Anne St. Godard, executive director of the Recycling Council of Ontario. “It really makes the case that reuse and recycling of energy intensive materials can make an enormous contribution to reducing waste, energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions, while creating jobs and investment in local economies.”

According to Dale MacIntyre, vice president of refining for Safety-Kleen, the real credit for the successful program goes to the garages and automotive facilities that choose to have Safety-Kleen collect and re-refine their used oil, rather than allowing it to be burned as a waste-derived fuel.

“By choosing Safety-Kleen, our customers make it possible to ‘renew a non-renewable resource,’ and in doing so help Canada meet its greenhouse gas emissions reduction commitments under the Kyoto protocol,” MacIntyre said. “We are honored to win this award, but we are even more excited that there is growing recognition of the significant environmental and economic merits of recovering and re-refining used lubricating oil.”

Safety-Kleen operates two state of the art re-refining operations, one in Breslau, Ontario, and another in East Chicago, Illinois, that together re-refine 500 million liters of used motor and industrial oils annually. Re-refining is the physical and chemical treatment of used oil to return it back into high quality lubricating oil. Safety-Kleen’s lubricating oil products meet or exceed all 2005 automotive lubricating oil standards and include a wide range of American Petroleum Institute Licensed Engine Oils.

Re-refining used lubricating oil has the following environmental and economic benefits:

Reducing Canada’s dependence on crude oil as a non-renewable natural resource. Local automotive facilities become “oil wells” which supply used oil that is processed in a closed-loop back into high quality motor oil. This reduces Canada’s dependency on crude oil.

Reducing Ontario’s greenhouse gas emissions by almost 500,000 tonnes. By re-refining used oil, instead of burning it as a waste-derived fuel, “upstream” requirements for crude oil are reduced and emissions from burned oil are reduced. That means that the 152 million litres of used oil re-refined by Safety-Kleen in Breslau in 2004 resulted in the avoidance of 500,000 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions. When combined with Safety-Kleen’s U.S. re-refining operations, the benefit increases to 1.52 million tonnes of avoided greenhouse gas equivalent emissions.

Reducing heavy metal and other toxic emissions to the air. Re-refining 152 million litres of used motor oil, rather than burning it without pollution controls, also avoids emissions of toxic substances that are dangerous to human health and the environment, including 1,200 tonnes of particulate emissions, 1,700 tonnes of sulfur dioxide, 3,300 kilograms of chromium, 1,100 kilograms of arsenic and 218 kilograms of cadmium. When used oil is re-refined, these metals are captured and incorporated into asphalt extender, a re-refining byproduct which locks them into asphalt preventing their discharge into the environment.

Safety-Kleen is a major lubricating, hydraulic, way and gear oil supplier to the automotive industry including major auto companies such as General Motors, Ford and Chrysler. Its products are also widely used by federal, provincial and municipal government fleets, private fleets and the military. Safety-Kleen’s products are also sold as house brands by many major retailers.

Contact Dale MacIntyre at 519-648-2291 x5255


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