Aftermarket & the Environment Supplement

Burning used oil banned in Ontario

By: Jennifer Holloway

The Ontario government has banned the burning of used oil in space heaters.

The Ontario Ministry of the Environment (MOE) says about 700 facilities throughout the province, including automotive service stations, dealerships, trucking fleet operators and construction businesses, burn about 10 million litres of used oil annually for heat. This is the equivalent of 2.5 million oil changes.

Motor oil was not formulated for use as fuel, says the MOE. Burning the oil releases elevated levels of chemicals such as lead and arsenic. And, used oil can be re-used or re-refined into new lubricating oil. In certain industrial applications, it can be re-used almost indefinitely.

The ban applies to facilities in southern Ontario only and will come into effect on June 1, 2009 to allow facilities to divert their used oil rather than discharging it into the environment. The ban is part of Ontario Regulation 280/07, which amends the General -- Waste Management Regulation (R.R.O. 1990, Reg. 347) under the Environmental Protection Act. The regulation is available at

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