Australian oil recyclers will receive an environmental bonus

Collectors, recyclers, and users of waste oil in Australia are the target of a new initiative to reward oil re-use with a grant from the Government, it was announced on Tuesday.

“Australia currently uses around 520 megalitres of oil each year, of which up to 370 megalitres is unaccounted for,” said Dr Sharman Stone MP, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Environment and Heritage, who steered the Product Stewardship (Oil) Bill 2000 through Parliament. The initiative is part of the government’s Measures for a Better Environment, and comes into operation at the start of next year.

“Much of the oil that we cannot account for ends up being poured down drains, used to paint fence stumps, stockpiled in warehouses or other environmentally damaging disposal alternatives,” said Dr Stone. “This new Federal Government Grant will encourage and promote the recycling of used waste oil.”

A levy equivalent to five cents for every litre of oil produced will be used to fund the recycling of waste oil. However, with the scrapping of a 22% Wholesale Sales Tax on oil, the total price of a litre of oil is expected by the government to fall.

“This new scheme will provide a financial incentive for waste oil to be collected, recycled and reused. This should lift the present paltry rate of waste oil recycling above 30%,” said Dr Stone. “Importantly, the subsidy payable to recyclers will be dependent on the quality of goods produced from waste oil. Substantially higher benefits will be paid for those recyclers who convert waste oil into lubricants, rather than burn it as fuel.”

According to Dr Stone, motor vehicle manufacturers in Europe and America have endorsed the use of recycled lubricants.

“This measure will be particularly welcome in rural and regional areas where distance creates an extra cost barrier to the oil recycling industry. There is now greater incentive for industry to increase the level of waste oil recycling than ever before,” said Dr Stone.

Action inspires action. Stay ahead of the curve with sustainability and energy newsletters from edie