Italy Starts Collecting Used Marine Oils

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Italy Starts Collecting Used Marine Oils
A service engineer fixing the engine of a vessel. © corlaffra

A collaborative initiative collected 15% more used marine oils in the first nine months of this year in Italy’s Ostia port area than in the same period in 2021 and suggested the program could be implemented at marinas all along the country’s coast, Italy’s National Consortium for the Management, Collection and Treatment of Used Mineral Oils, known as Conou, reported.

Conou said in an Oct. 12 press release that the awareness-raising campaign for collection of used marine oils, called “Let’s bring into the future a living and clean sea,” was done in collaboration with Marevivo, an association that has been active in the protection of marine ecosystems for almost 40 years, and Assonat, the Italian National Association of Docks and Marinas. The used marine oil is collected from yachts and other smaller boats.

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Officials with Italy’s government, Marevivo, the Port of Rome, Conou and Nieco, Conou’s concessionary company in charge of collecting used oil in the area, gathered to share an analysis of the results that the campaign achieved on the Roman coastline – collection of about 1,085 kilograms (1.6 metric ton) of used oil during this past summer. For the first nine months of this year, the initiative collected 3,000 kg of used oil, compared to 2,600 kg in the same period last year.

Conou said its collaboration with Marevivo, the Municipality of Rome, trade associations and the port authority made it possible to achieve the first key milestone at the capital city’s tourist port and providing an example for other organizations in the country.

“The outcome of this first phase of the campaign is undoubtedly positive,” Conou President Riccardo Piunti said in a press release. “In just three months we have collected over a ton of oil, helping to preserve the sea from potential pollution. The path started last June in Ostia confirmed the need for marinas along all Italian coasts to be equipped to fully comply with the regulations on the collection of this dangerous waste.”

Piunti noted that the Roman port initiative has drawn a path that can be replicated by other ports. “We are available to support other port realities, to ensure environmental protection in the most uniform way possible,” he said. “Even at Ostia we intend to take further steps towards automation, testing the feasibility of equipping our tanks with a remote level control so as to make recovery even more timely and effective.”

The campaign promoted awareness about the risks associated with improper disposal of used lubricating oils used by boats. During the summer months, all ports involved received information materials to distribute to boaters and, where necessary, Conou also provided tanks for the disposal of used oils.

The campaign’s premise is that boating activity by yachtsmen and tourists rises in summer, making it a crucial time for protection of the sea. “It is therefore essential to preserve and protect the sea from the pollution of a hazardous waste such as used lubricating oil,” Conou said in a press release. The new initiative launched in June 2021 with the installation of two tanks provided by Conou to collect used oil in the Ostia port area.

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