independent motor repairers industry is responding positively to efforts to
manage used oil, says Chairman of the Motor Workshop Industry Association
(MIWA), Dewald Ranft. MIWA is a proud member of the Retail Motor Industry
are starting to understand the effects that disposing of used oil in an
irresponsible way are having on our environment and are implementing changes,”
Used oil is
classified as a hazardous substance because of all of the harmful chemicals and
metals that contaminate it through use. A release of used oil into the
environment, whether by accident or otherwise, threatens ground and surface
waters with oil contamination endangering the drinking water supply and aquatic
Foundation, a national non-profit organisation established to promote and
encourage the environmentally responsible management of used oils and related
waste in South Africa, reports that if oil is thrown down a drain or onto the
ground, it can seep into groundwater systems. It states that one litre of used
oil can contaminate a million litres of water. If unprocessed used oil is burnt
in furnaces, harmful toxic compounds are emitted into the atmosphere damaging
and polluting the air. For this reason, it is illegal to dump used oil or to
burn it without processing it first.
requires the responsible storage, collection and recycling of used oil within
the strict compliance requirements of the Waste Act.
been promoting the responsible and legal way to dispose of used oil with our
members through the introduction of affordable oil/water separators (or grease
traps) and it has been well received,” says Ranft.
traps are used where industrial drains are subject to the collection of motor
oil, transmission fluids, hydraulic oils and grease. They are available in two
or three compartment configurations and vary in size and material composition.
Grease traps are plumbing devices and the purpose is to contain oils and
greases in the interior compartments of the trap.
based in Port Elizabeth has developed a grease trap made for business owners
not washing cars and engines. It is suitable for workshops where there is only
the washing of floors with a bucket system and where parts are cleaned with
either water or air. The system is affordable, only R3,500 excluding VAT and
courier cost, and used above ground as many property owners do not always want
a tenant to install underground systems,” he explains.
point there have been meetings held with municipalities in Port Elizabeth,
Uitenhage and George and the grease traps manufactured specifically for
workshops have been approved. “The grease trap will be able to assist workshops
reduce the possibility of oils and greases being released into the waste
that what workshops need to understand is that the local municipality will do
regular checks to test the workshop’s waste stream water quality. “If they find
any oils that contaminated the waste stream, the workshop owner will be held
believes that besides the legal aspect it is important that all used oil from
the workshop industry is collected and responsibly recycled.
point we are looking into ways to assist members in other regions with their
oil/water separating systems. As a part of our mandate, we believe it is
important that our members are making as little negative impact on the
environment as possible and will continuously look for ways to ensure this
happens,” concludes Ranft.