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Getting Rid of Oil

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Getting Rid of Oil


Did you know that Australia sells around 500 million litres of lubricating oil annually? Engines utilise lubricating oil, and while some engines (like two-stroke lawnmower engines) totally burn it, others (like equipment and automobile engines) create significant amounts of spent oil that can be recovered and reused. For a modest price, we at CopperRock Recycling Center can recycle this spent oil.

Similar rules apply to how to properly dispose of used cooking oil. Cooking oil cannot be recycled at CopperRock, unfortunately. However, several regional businesses, such as Your Oil Man and Cookers, can pick up your used cooking oil.


Used oil has the potential to contaminate land, water, and infrastructure if it is improperly disposed of. A single car oil change generates 4 to 5 litres of spent oil, and it only takes one litre of oil to contaminate one million litres of water. Australia produces at least 250 million litres of wasted oil annually.


The container that oil comes in, particularly for lubricating oils because of residual oil contamination, is also a risk for landfills. So, at Copper Rock, we are unable to take your empty oil container. Each year, landfills receive about 3,050 tonnes of contaminated small-volume motor vehicle oil canisters. Even so, it’s believed that this number is higher when you consider the entire variety of petroleum-based oil lubricants that are readily available. The Australia, New Zealand, and Pacific Islands Plastics Pact (ANZPAC) has provided financing to the Australian Packaging Covenant Organisation (APCO) to build a national product stewardship programme for the recovery and reprocessing of used oil containers in order to address this problem.


Stage one of the project, which involved analysing the market for oil containers at the time and creating potential scheme designs, has been finished by APCO. By March 2023, they hope to have a finalised design for the scheme and an implementation strategy.


The project’s high-level scope includes research into:

  • The gathering and recycling of high-density polyethylene (HDPE) motor oil containers with a 20-liter capacity or less that are sold in Australia.
  • Public education and labelling.
  • The possibility of models for reusing packaging
  • The usage of recycled materials and end markets


Once the project is up and running, a comprehensive supply chain strategy will be used to assure industry participation in the creation of a successful and efficient programme that intends to:

  • Increase oil container recovery by up to 20 litres.
  • Reduce the negative environmental and health effects of oil bottles.
  • Look into alternative reuse models and cutting-edge, innovative recycling technology for oil bottles.
  • Set recovery goals that are compliant with the ANZPAC Plastics Pact. 


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