As June marks National Environment Month, protecting our ecosystems falls firmly in the spotlight. Of particular importance, is ensuring that hazardous waste does not pollute the natural environment.
Used lubricating oil is a hazardous waste that, if irresponsibly dumped, can severely contaminate our water resources. One litre of used oil can contaminate a million litres of water. Used oil contains harmful compounds such as iron, tin, copper, zinc as well as many other hazardous organic molecules.
In light of this, the ROSE Foundation (Recycling Oil Saves the Environment) – an industry body which has been championing the responsible collection and recycling of used oil for 27 years - is calling on South African businesses which generate used motor lubricant oil, to become agents of change and ensure that they do their part to protect the environment by responsibly collecting, storing and recycling the used oil they generate.
AutoZone is responding to the call for action and change, by facilitating a safe place and way for all AutoZone customers to drop off their used oil at selected Autozone stores, where we will ensure that we dispose of it safely and responsibly with the aim to protecting our environment.
Often oil ends up in landfills or down drains and often used oil is used as burner fuel for furnaces, painted onto vineyard and fence poles as a wood preservative, or sprayed onto dirt roads as a dust suppressant. Because of this, the storage, disposal and recycling of used oil is strictly governed by environmental laws under the National Environmental Management: Waste Act No. 59 of 2008.
In terms of the Act, the ROSE Foundation advises that used oil must be properly stored until it can removed for recycling or taken to a drop-off point. This includes draining the oil into a clean container with a tight-fitting lid, such as a reusable combination drain pan/storage container or drum. Empty oil containers and drums make effective storage vessels for used oil, however, do not use a container that previously held chemicals, such as cleaners, solvents, fuels, paint or bleach. Always clearly label the container ‘Used -Lube Oil’
For those customers who generate smaller volumes of used oil, there is the option to drop off the used oil at selected AUTOZONE stores and various motor service centres countrywide. A list of the drop off points can be found on the ROSE Foundation website at www.rosefoundation.org.za.
The safe disposal of hazardous waste has become a critical issue in South Africa to protect our environment, and the legislation in place means that responsible waste management is no longer a nice thing to do but a necessary thing to do,” says Nyiba.
“As the organisation that has championed the responsible recycling of over 1.5 billion litres of used oil, the ROSE Foundation is committed to being a captain of change and ensuring we stimulate awareness and behavioural transformation within the used oil industry. ROSE has been actively recruiting used-oil collectors to join the organisation so that we can assist them, and their customers, with waste legislation compliance, and despite the Covid-19 pandemic, in 2020 we recorded the second highest collected used oil volumes since ROSE’s was formed in 1994.”