Two students are spending the summer up to their elbows in oil. And they’re happy to talk about the experience if it helps people understand the importance of recycling used oil.
Emily Louie and Ali Omelaniec signed on to be ambassadors for the BC Used Oil Management Association. Their role includes handing out materials, speaking to the media, spending time with program stakeholders, and touring 520 oil recycling facilities in 120 municipalities around the province.
Last Thursday the women came to Maple Ridge to take in the Ridge Meadows Recycling Society’s return collection facility.
In their blog at www.bcusedoil.com the ambassadors noted, “This facility was one of the first [transfer stations] to start collecting oil and now collects a very large amount of stewardship program materials, including paint and lights.”
The blog even made note of the bike exchange program.
Local businesses involved with vehicle oil changes as part of their services seem to understand the requirements of the program and have the infrastructure necessary to collect and dispose of the oil properly.
Driveway mechanics are another story.
“The biggest target is do-it-yourselfers,” Omelaniec said.
The used oil recycling program started in 2005 to get more people collecting and recycling used oil as well as antifreeze (in 2011), and their respective filters and containers.
“We have a recovery rate of 73 per cent of the oil,” Omelaniec said.
While this a good recovery rates, it’s not good enough. More than 18-million litres of used oil are not recovered in B.C. each year. Rather than being recycled, that used oil ends up in landfills or other areas allowing it to leach into the environment and water systems.
For more information visit www.usedoilrecycling.com.