Tribune Staff Writer
Promoting the recycling of used oil, antifreeze and tires, two co-op students have been travelling around the province on behalf of the BC Used Oil Management Association and Tire Stewardship BC.
Sonia Sandhu and Jordana Fridman are one of two teams who have been spreading awareness this summer throughout the Lower Mainland, Northern B.C. and now, the Interior as part of B.C. Used Oil Ambassadors program.
As part of their tour, including a stop in Williams Lake last week, they have been visiting recycling collection facilities — places that will accept used tires, oil and antifreeze and send them along to a recycling facility.
The team has also been spreading awareness about the recycling opportunities.
“We’re targeting a lot of do-it-yourselfers. People who do their own oil changes and do their own tire changes,” said Fridman.
“There are these places where people who do their own car services can drop off their used oil and tire materials instead of them ending up in landfills or going down drains and harming the environment or our animals,” she said.
The team emphasizes sustainability, and the harm to the environment if materials aren’t properly disposed of.
“One drop of oil contaminates a million drops of water,” Sandhu said, adding that a danger of not recycling is oil seeping into the ground during a rain storm.
Equally important is that people bring their recyclables in during regular business hours, so that the facilities that are set up to accept them are able to do so without any contamination, she said.
When used oil and antifreeze are brought to these facilities they are sent to a processing plant where they are cleared of toxins, dehydrated, chemically cleaned and then turned into refined lube oil and refined antifreeze, the team said.
Tires are chopped up and turned into a rubber mulch that can be used in different types or rubber padding, commonly seen in playgrounds and athletic turfs.
Earlier in the summer the students toured Newalta, a used oil processing plant in North Vancouver.
There they were impressed to discover at least 12 different types of by-products made from used oil.
“Nothing recycled is wasted, that’s for sure,” said Sandhu.
The team’s motto, “Every drop. Every tread. Every day. Turn your used oil, antifreeze and scrap tires into something better,” is written on the side of the white vehicle with the appearance of black oil oozing down the sides that the girls have used to tour around the province in.
Response has been “extremely positive,” both Sandhu and Fridman say, adding that their summer has been quite rewarding.
“We both believe in sustainability and we both want to promote protecting the environment. When we saw this job it was a chance to do something that was amazing. Personally, we both care about the environment a lot, and travelling across the province making a difference in whatever way that we are meant a lot to us,” said Fridman.
For more information and to find a recycling collection facility nearby visit usedoilrecycling.com.