Used oil can now be dropped off at Ernie’s Used Auto Parts.

Used oil can now be dropped off at Ernie’s Used Auto Parts.

Castlegar gets new used-oil facility

Recycling station seeing heavier use than expected

Residents of Castlegar, Nelson and area finally have a new place to safely get rid of used motor oil.

A used oil recycling station was opened at Ernie’s Used Auto Parts on Minto Road in South Castlegar on the May long weekend.

And the free service is already seeing heavy use.

“It’s been steady since we opened, we’ve already had to empty the 1,100-litre tank twice,” said Stuart Ady, the owner of Ernie’s.

“We knew there was going to be a backlog, but we didn’t think it would be this busy. It’s good, though. People aren’t dumping oil on the back roads.”

The new facility takes used oil and antifreeze at no charge and stores it for pickup. The oil is then taken to facilities that re-refine it as new lubricating oil that can be used as a fuel in pulp mills, cement plants and asphalt plants. Any vehicle maintenance facilities, automobile owners, and other machinery maintenance operations that use oil also can use re-refined oil.

Additionally, used oil filters contain reusable scrap metal, which steel producers can reuse for metal products like rebar, nails and wire. Used antifreeze can be reprocessed to produce new automotive antifreeze. Plastic oil and antifreeze containers can be recycled into new oil containers, flowerpots, pipe, guardrails, and patio furniture.

The Minto Road facility is open for use 24/7, but users have to respect the operation, says Ady. Anyone dropping off material for recycling should:

– make sure oil and antifreeze are deposited in the appropriate containers

– make sure oil jugs are put into plastic bags

– ensure oil filters are placed in proper drums.

Proper use of the facility is necessary for the service to remain open, says Ady.

It’s been about three months since the region has had an operating used oil and antifreeze recycling facility.

Each year, approximately 50 million litres of oil, and three million litres of antifreeze are collected and responsibly managed through the approximately 300 public collection facilities and over 4,000 generators across the province, which are managed by the BC Used Oil Management Association.