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Joint Media Release
Australian Minister for the Environment and Heritage
Senator the Hon. Ian Campbell
South Australian Minister for Environment and Conservation
The Hon John Hill

3 February 2006

More oil recycling centres for South Australia

Small oil users such as households, small businesses and hobby groups can take advantage of an expanded network of used oil-recycling centres initiated by the Australian and South Australian governments.

Sixteen new used oil-recycling depots have been established around the state bringing the total to 80. Fifty-five of these have been funded under the Australian Government’s Product Stewardship for Oil programme.

South Australian Environment Minister, John Hill, will officially launch the 16 sites at the Newton Refuse Transfer Station this morning with Federal Member for Sturt, Christopher Pyne, representing the Australian Minister for the Environment and Heritage, Senator Ian Campbell.

The recycling units have been provided at no cost to councils and are located at council works depots and landfills across the state for public use.

The units hold up to 5000 litres of used motor oil, and are designed for small oil users such as households, hobby groups and small businesses including wineries and farming enterprises.

Minister Hill supported the Product Stewardship for Oil programme saying it was a positive move towards sustainable waste management in South Australia.

“Oil is a valuable and finite resource,” he said. “Each year, more than 500 million litres of lubricating oil is sold in Australia. Of this amount, at least 250 million litres of used oil is generated by industry and the community and is available for recycling.

“The Australian Government has provided $260 000 to expand South Australia’s existing used oil collection network, which will allow this state to increase the amount of used motor oil it diverts to recycling.”

Research by the Australian Government Department of Environment and Heritage indicates that between 60 and 100 million litres of oil is not recycled in Australia each year. This ‘missing oil’ could be disposed of in ways harmful to the environment and people.

Anecdotal evidence suggests it could be:

“The improper use of used oil can pollute land, waterways, underground reservoirs and the marine environment. One litre of used oil can contaminate up to one million litres of water,” Minister Hill said.

“Used oil is hazardous - toxic, carcinogenic and harmful to the environment when irresponsibly discarded. It is also poisonous if swallowed or inhaled and can present a fire hazard if not properly stored. This programme aims to encourage the environmentally sustainable management of used oil and its re-use.”

The Minister for the Environment and Heritage, Senator Ian Campbell, said that since introducing the Product Stewardship for Oil programme, the Australian Government had provided $7.6 million dollars to develop a network of more than 800 used oil collection facilities across the nation.

“Since we started the programme, the volume of used oil being collected, recycled and re-used in Australia had increased by 40%, from 160 million litres to 220 million litres a year,” he said.

“These new South Australian facilities will contribute to the continuing success of the Government’s Product Stewardship for Oil programme, helping Australians to live in a safer environment free from pollution from used oil.”

Depots have been established in the following areas:

Media Contacts:
Renae Stoikos (Senator Campbell's office) 02 6277 7640 or 0418 568 434
Catherine Hockley (Minister Hill) on 08 8463 3463 or 0422 004 434

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