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Canterbury Councils set up network to collect used motor oil

2 May 2003

Canterbury Councils have joined to set up a network of 16 sites where people can dispose of used motor oil in an environmentally friendly way.

The collection points, at a selection of refuse stations throughout Canterbury, have been set up for householders rather than commercial operators. The oil collected will either be refined again for reuse or will be used by Holcim (previously Milburn Cement) as an alternative to coal for fuel at its Westport cement kiln. The Holcim kiln burns so hot it destroys 99.99% of contaminants in the oil. Last year the company took 13.5m litres of used oil from throughout the country.

A study done in 1999 suggests that while Canterbury generates about 3.5 million litres of used oil a year, only 2.6m litres is collected and reused. Of the unaccounted for 900,000 litres, it is thought a lot is illegally disposed of in landfills.

“ Dumping used oil into the environment has huge effects,” says project manager Laine Phillips of the Christchurch City Council. ”A single litre can contaminate a million litres of drinking water, so it’s important that people dispose of their used oil responsibly and these new oil recovery facilities make it easy.

“ If you’re changing the oil in your car, boat, lawnmower or any other gear at home, then you need to dispose of that used oil appropriately,” Mr Phillips says. “This service gives you a way to do that.”

Christchurch City's three transfer stations (on Parkhouse Road, Styx Mill Road and Metro Place) are taking part in the scheme. For more information about the location of these and other recovery centres around the region, please go to on the web.

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