Oil Recycling Project


The EDRS has been running a very successful hazardous oil collection site for many years. It functions by allowing residents and small commercial operators from Edson and Yellowhead County to dispose their used oil, containers and filters in an environmentally safe way, and also provides a demonstration site for environmental conservation. Due to the program being so highly popular, the time has come to renovate and expand the hazardous oil collection site. Over the past 10 years, the amount of used oil we have been collecting increased by almost 100%, containers by 120% and oil filters by 200%. It is important that the collection site be expanded in order to ensure the maximum amount of re-refined oil and minimum amount of oil contamination to the surrounding area. By expanding our collection site, we will not only be reducing our environmental footprint, but increasing public awareness in the importance of properly discarding their used oil.

The EDRS collects many types of oil: petroleum, synthetic crankcase oil, hydraulic fluid, transmission fluid, gear oil and transfer fluid. By having a larger collection site, we will be greatly reducing the amount of water contamination and pollution through improper disposal of oil waste. If oil is not properly disposed of, it will greatly impact and pollute water, land and wildlife. Oil can be re-refined which requires only a third of the energy used to refine crude oil to lubricant quality. With a larger hazardous oil collections site, we will be able to increase the amount of re-refined oil, and greatly decrease the amount of oil pollution within the surrounding area.

 Why Recycle Oil and Oil Products

One litre of used oil can contaminate one million litres of water; therefore it is imperative that used oil be recycled properly. Oil filters can contain up to 8 ounces/250 ML of used oil so they need to be taken to the proper recycling facility so that oil can be removed from them and recycled as well. Many oil filters are 85% steel, which will take an extremely long time to decompose if dumped in a landfill. However, the steel filters can be processed at steel recycling mills and turned into other metal products such as construction rebar, angle iron and pipe.

The used plastic oil containers also require recycling as not all oil is removed from the containers. They are cleaned by a special method, and then recycled in a manner similar to other plastics. They are  manufactured into new containers, guardrails, fence posts, landscape ties, pipe and parking curbs, as well as for plastic durable goods such as patio furniture and flower pots.

Current Situation and Vision for the Future

The previous oil collection structure was built in 1998. It met the current and future needs of Edson and Yellowhead County at that particular time.  The base design was a much needed improvement to the historical collections system that was in place at that time at the landfill.   But due to the increase in volumes over the past years, this building was no longer able to handle the amount of product coming in.

Over the past 12 years the Edson & District Recycling Society (EDRS) has seen the volumes of used oil, filters and containers increase significantly year after year. Currently over 46,000 l of used oil, 50 barrels (45 gallon sized) of oil filters and over 9,200 kg. of oil containers are collected each year.

The Government of Alberta is currently looking at a new proposed Designated Materials Recycling Regulations.   Changes to the current regulations governing the recycling of used oil, filters and containers are being considered within these new regulations.  As a result there may be a wider range of products and containers added to our program.

For these reasons the EDRS is looking at updating its current used oil, filters and container collection system.    The new system will incorporate new more efficient means to processes, handle, store and ship the current and future hazardous material streams.

New Building

Our new building officially opened in September 2015. It is equipped with a separate heated drop off site where containers and filters can be sorted. The containers are stored in a separate area that is convenient for storage and shipping. This building provides a larger more secure containment area and has the capacity to handle larger volumes in a more efficient and effective manner. Since the opening in September 2015, 29,800 litres of oil and 6814 containers have been collected at the new site.

There is a chest high drain and a floor drainage basin which drain into a separate oil tank in a non-heated cement containment area with a berm and secondary and tertiary containment.

During construction all efforts were made to use building materials that are reused or contain a high percentage of recycled content.  Recycled paint, flooring made from recycled plastic, reused wood and roofing tiles made from tire crumbs were utilized. The building was also set up to enable the installation of photo voltaic solar modules at a later date.  In the future, this building will be off grid!

This new building changes the old system in place for collection of hazardous recyclables. Hazardous recyclables are: paint, aerosol containers, house hold hazardous materials, computers, TV’s, various household electronic items, florescent lights, oil, and antifreeze.  The new building allows us to be flexible and enables the depot to take on other items as the need arises. We now have a full time attendant for this very important part of our community recycling program.