Burning waste oil may harm health

As Christmas approaches and the weather turns colder many garages may be tempted to recycle waste engine oil as fuel in their workshops, but the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) warns people in Offaly that this is dangerous.

As Christmas approaches and the weather turns colder many garages may be tempted to recycle waste engine oil as fuel in their workshops, but the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) warns people in Offaly that this is dangerous.

Waste oil is hazardous as it contains a large number of contaminants, some of which are known to be carcinogenic, and it must be either recycled in EPA licensed facilities or destroyed by burning at very high temperatures.

The EPA wants to remind garages in Offaly that apart from harming human health burning waste oils can also damage the environment.

Many garages may not be aware that the operation of used oil incinerators requires a licence from the EPA. It is an offence under the Waste Management Act to burn waste oil without a Waste Licence. The burning of waste oil falls under the scope of the European Waste Incineration Directive.

Jim Moriarty of the EPA commented: “It may seem like an attractive idea to get rid of unwanted waste oil while providing heat for employees without having to buy conventional heating oil, but it is a dangerous and illegal practice”.

If anyone has a query about what they should do with their waste oil, a “Smart Garage Guide” that promotes good environmental practice in Garages and provides information on how to comply with legislation is available on the EPA website.