Ecuador collected 4.1 million gallons of used lubricants in 2021 – a fifth of the amount of lubes it consumes – through a two-year-old program aimed at preventing waste oils from being dumped into the environment.
The program, Recoil, was developed by the Ecuadorian Association of Lubricants in response to a 2019 law promoting the collection and recycling of used lubes and lubricant containers. According to local news reports, the 4.1 million gallons – or 14,000 metric tons – collected last year exceeded the association’s goal of 4 million gallons.
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Ecuador consumes approximately 68,000 tons of lubricants annually, the association said.
Recoil also collected 65,000 kilograms of used plastic and metal lubricant containers, the organization said.
Eighty-five percent of the oils collected were rerefined into base oils, the association said, and the remainder was either burned for energy or processed into unspecified applications.
Recoil wants to significantly increase the collection rate, as officials said they believed the program could collect 90% of the lubes that the country consumes.
Recoil collects used lubricants from generation points throughout the South American country and transports the material to processing sites. It also promotes public awareness about the hazards waste oils can pose if allowed to enter the environment.