Used Lube Collection Rises in Spain


Used Lube Collection Rises in Spain
Photo courtesy of Sigaus

Used lubricant collection in Spain grew 16% in the first half of this year, compared to the same period last year, and this year’s projected total is running 4% ahead of last year’s, according to Sigaus, a Madrid-based non-profit organization that manages the country’s recycling of used lubricants.

The country collected 89,204 metric tons of waste oils for the first half of 2021, rising from 76,993 tons in the same period last year, Sigaus said in a report released Dec. 10 covering 2020 and the first half of this year.

For the full year of 2021 – based on the average July-December used oil collection volumes from 2016 through 2019 – the association projects to collect 175,000 tons, a 4% increase from 2020.

The association attributed the lower 2020 totals to pandemic-related lockdowns in the spring of that year, which were partly offset in the second half of that year with intensified oil generation and collection activity. Sigaus noted that typically, as of June 30, the volume generated represents 50%-52% of the annual collection total – a figure that in 2020 was reduced to 45%.

The Sigaus report broke down 2020 used oil generation by number of generation points and volume generated by each sector. Spain has 67,524 collection points, 55% of which are automobile workshops and 15% of which are industrial facilities. A variety of other sectors accounted for the remaining 30% of collection points, including tourism, agriculture, vehicle and machine rentals, construction, transportation, commerce and other activities.

Thirty-eight percent of collected oil came from workshops and 30% from industrial sites. On average, each industrial producer generated a total of 5 tons of used oils in 2020, approximately three times that of an average workshop.

Sigaus manages the Collective System of Extended Producer Responsibility, a program aimed at ensuring that waste oil rerefining remains financially viable. It does so by paying subsidies to used oil collectors and rerefiners. The funds come from a tax charged per kilogram by engine oil installers.

The organization raises or lowers its subsidies each quarter based on fluctuations in prices for base oils and waste oil.

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