Dumping Waste Oil is Illegal
The Environment Agency today launched a new awareness campaign reminding companies, businesses and local mechanics to dispose of waste oil safely and legally or face tough penalties.
Under the new Waste Incineration Directive – to be implemented on 28th December 2005 – companies that incinerate waste oils such as, power stations and road stone coaters, must meet strict new environmental regulations. As a result, the price of disposal is expected to increase.
Today the Environment Agency’s Oil Care Campaign manager, Richard Martin, reminded all companies to use registered waste collectors when disposing of waste oil – or face prosecution by the Environment Agency.
“Local garages, lift and hydraulic businesses, small manufacturing sites, waste oil collectors, metal cutting facilities and marinas are today reminded that they must dispose of waste oils in a safe, legal and environmentally sound way,” Mr Martin said.
“Waste oils are hazardous to the environment and to human health, they must be managed, stored and disposed of safely. The illegal disposal of waste oils will not be tolerated – you will be prosecuted,” he said.
Tipping oil down the drain is an offence – most drains connect to rivers and streams and oil is highly polluting and expensive to clear up – even small quantities can have a serious impact on plants and wildlife.
Uncontrolled burning of waste oil can put serious pollutants into the air. Penalties for these sorts of offences can be up to £50,000, or more in a Crown Court.
“Help protect the environment by ensuring the oils you produce are managed and disposed of safely and legally by yourself and your customers,” Mr Martin said.
New rules on waste oils
At present, waste oil collected in the UK is burnt as a fuel. However, environmental standards for using waste as a fuel are being tightened to reduce emissions when it is burnt. It’s unlikely that current users of waste oil will be able to meet these standards. The market for waste oil is changing. This could result in producers of waste oil needing to pay more to get rid of it.
There is a legal Duty of Care placed on every business to make sure that the waste it produces is properly stored, described so it can be handled safely, and disposed of or re-used in an appropriate way.
There will be little change for businesses that are already meeting their Duty of Care – apart from a potential increase in the disposal fee.
To be sure you stay within the law you should follow these guidelines:
Store oil securely in a container. The Environment Agency recommends a container with a bund that could contain 110 per cent of the liquid in the tank. The bund should not have any drainage holes and should contain all pipework.
Use a registered waste carrier to collect your waste oil. You should ask to see their certificate, or call the Environment Agency on 08708 506506 and ask for a waste carrier check.
Waste oil is hazardous waste. Producers of hazardous waste must register with the Environment Agency. Your waste contractor may be able to do this for you.
There are strict requirements for disposing of hazardous waste. When waste oil leaves your premises it will have to be described for consignment, using a hazardous waste consignment note.