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Media Release
Australian Government Minister for the Environment and Heritage
Senator the Hon. Ian Campbell

7 December 2004

Used oil recycling - the future

Recycling of used oil increased by more than 40 per cent during the last three years - from about 160 million litres a year, to over 230 million litres last year, the Minister for the Environment and Heritage, Senator Ian Campbell said today.

"Australians have become very good at recycling their used oil, collecting and recycling about 80 per cent of the used oil generated last year," Senator Campbell said.

"They're not only helping save the environment but they're also saving a valuable resource.

"Disposing of used oil the wrong way can pollute land, water and infrastructure. Just one litre of used oil can contaminate up to one million litres of water."

Senator Campbell said two reviews of the Government's Product Stewardship for Oil Program, an industry incentive program to collect and recycle Australia's used oil, had found it was working well.

"Since the program started in 2000, the Howard Government has provided over $10 million in funding to State and local governments to establish a network of used oil collection facilities," Senator Campbell said.

"We have also invested in reducing technology bottlenecks. As a result, Australia's first re-refining plant is now up and running, taking used oil and re-refining it to produce over 5½ million litres of as-new lubricating oil last year.

"The Government intends to build on this success, and the reviews we commissioned identify our priority steps.

"More than 700 used oil collection facilities have been funded and more will be funded in coming years. In particular, we'll be focusing on the recycling of used oil in remote Australia and indigenous communities."

Media contact:
Minister's office 02 6277 7640
Wayne Grant 0407 845 280

Commonwealth of Australia