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New free used oil recovery scheme launched


Households in the Auckland region can now dispose of their used engine oil for free thanks to a new scheme launched this week by Auckland Council in conjunction with industry partners and the support of Government.

Being piloted in Auckland for three years and potentially rolled out nationwide in future, the new scheme aims to ensure the majority of used engine oil generated by households in the region is captured and then recycled or disposed of.

Auckland Council Manager Infrastructure & Environmental Services John Dragicevich says under the new scheme, which Minister for the Environment Nick Smith today announced is being established with support from the Government's Waste Minimisation Fund, Auckland residents can drop off their used engine oil to Repco stores throughout the region or to Total Lubricants' office in East Tamaki.

It will subsequently be collected and either safely disposed of or recycled.

The used engine oil must be in a sealed leak-proof container - preferably a #2 recyclable container such as those new oil is sold in - and placed inside the drop-off bins provided at these stores.

Mr Dragicevich says in Auckland alone householders produce an estimated 656,000 litres of used oil annually but only a third of that is believed to be disposed of safely, meaning the balance is potentially ending up harming the environment.

"Given one litre of used engine oil can contaminate one million litres of water and council surveys indicated the majority of households did not have access to safe convenient disposal services the council decided it was important to initiate something."

Auckland Council Environment and Sustainability Committee Chairperson Wayne Walker explains that while systems already existed for collection of used oil from high-volume generators such as motor mechanics, there was no oil industry-led system for the collection of used oil from low-volume used oil generators such as 'do-it-yourself' home mechanics.
"With this new scheme Auckland households can now be very clear as to where their used engine oil goes. It will then be dealt with under Ministry of the Environment-approved product stewardship schemes. This is a great solution we trust industry will eventually take full responsibility for."

The key partners in the new pilot scheme are: Auckland Council, Repco, the Ministry for the Environment, collection agency R.O.S.E. (Recover Oil Save Environment), Castrol, Orica, Total Lubricants, Penrite and Fuchs. The scheme is also supported by the Motor Trade Association.

For more information, including the drop-off locations, the public can visit