Even one drop can make a difference. That’s the message being promoted by two youthful summer ambassadors for the British Columbia Used Oil Management Association (BCUOMA).
Tiffany Rennick and Amara Janssens traveled through the North Thompson Valley last Wednesday and Thursday as part of a provincewide tour to promote recycling of used oil, oil containers and oil filters.
People can bring in reasonable quantities of used oil (up to 20 liters but more typically five to 10 liters) to businesses and facilities that have signed up to be collection depots. In the North Thompson Valley these depots include Fleetwest Enterprises, the Blue River transfer station, and the landfills at Barriere and Clearwater.
Another important message Rennick and Janssens wanted to communicate is that people should bring their waste oil, oil containers and oil filters into the depots during business hours. Dropping them off while no one is there can result in spillage and environmental contamination, they said.
British Columbians recycle about 88 per cent of oil containers, 86 per cent of oil filters and 79 per cent of motor oil.
Last year BCUOMA recycled about 47 million liters of used oil. It was made into new lubricating oil and processed for use in pulp mills and cement and asphalt plants.
Oil filters are crushed and used to manufacture reinforced steels, while plastic oil and antifreeze containers are recycled into new oil containers, drainage tiles and parking curbs.
Starting this year, used antifreeze can also be recycled, although no depots that accept it in the North Thompson have been confirmed.
Environmental handling charges assessed on new oil containers and filters pay for the program. Customers pay a 10-cent fee for oil containers, 55 cents for oil filters less than eight inches long and $1.25 for longer oil filters.
As of July 1, customers have to pay a 10-cent environmental fee for new antifreeze containers.
Rennick is a marketing student at UBC while Janssens studies communications at SFU. The pair is on a four-month tour and will visit nearly all the 500 BCUOMA used oil depots in the province. They also are distributing information, conducting media interviews, meeting aon behalf of BCUOMA and program partner, Post-Consumer Pharmaceutical Stewardship Association (PCPSA).