Ontario bans used oil for space heating

Toronto, Canada - The Ontario government is banning the burning of used oil in space heaters, Environment Minister Laurel Broten has announced.

According to Broten, as motor oil is not formulated for use as fuel, burning it can release elevated levels of chemicals, like lead and arsenic, compared to cleaner burning fuels. Spent oil can also be reformed for reuse, she added.

About 700 facilities throughout Ontario, such as automotive service stations, dealerships, trucking fleet operators and construction businesses, burn about 10 million litres of used oil annually for heat; the equivalent of 2.5 million oil changes. Used oil can be re-used or re-refined into new lubricating oil. In certain industrial applications, used oil can be reclaimed and effectively re-used almost indefinitely, says the Ontario Ministry of the Environment.

The government estimates the ban will add to the 150 million litres that are currently being re-refined annually in Ontario. The ban applies to facilities in southern Ontario only and will come into force on June 1, 2009, to allow facilities to adjust to the new regulation and to divert their used oil rather than discharging it into the environment.

“Banning the burning of used oil supports re-refining, reduces demand for new oil and encourages economic development in the environmental sector, and addresses potential impacts to public health and local air quality,” said Broten.

Ontario Regulation 280/07 to ban the practice of burning used oil in space heaters can be found at www.e-laws.gov.on.ca.

For More Information: Government of Ontario

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