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Promoting Responsible Waste Management

Promoting Responsible Waste Management

Assisting our members to achieve operational excellence. Pushing the boundaries of waste recovery technology and preserving a natural resource.

The amount of mineral oil waste arising in the UK is difficult to quantify for a number of reasons that are largely associated with definitions. EU law reflects the use of the European Waste Catalogue that includes a number of subsectors including oily water. The consensus however is that waste mineral oil largely describes used lubricating oils and fuels that have been or are required to be discarded in its widest legal sense.

ORA believes that collectible waste lubricating oil arising in the UK is some 350,000 tonnes per annum, being roughly 50% of that potentially recoverable from sales of 700,000 tonnes per annum of new automotive and industrial lubricants placed each year onto the UK market.

However, not all of that oil is commercially recoverable as some is reused on site by the waste generator. To that must be added indefinite quantities of waste (usually contaminated) fuel arising, for example washings from ships heavy fuel oil systems, tank bottoms, spillages and mixed automotive fuels that ORA suggests is typically in the region of 70,000 tonnes per annum.

Waste plastics are a massive problem impacting on our planet. The UK alone handles millions of tonnes of waste plastics with 3.5 million tonnes exported every year to continental Europe to be burnt in Energy from Waste plants. With the right technology there is well over a million tonnes of oil that can be recovered from refuse derived fuel, automotive shredder residue and de-inking rejects etc.

Plastic pollution is currently very high on the political agenda. In the Circular Economy we need to produce oils that are capable of being turned back into plastics.