ALE - Lubricant Oils Waste
Lubricant oils are a common element in our daily lives, as they are needed to assist in the functioning of many engines and mechanisms. Through their use, they lose their properties, and, as a result, they are disposed of as waste and they subsequently replaced by fresh lubricating oils.
In the European Union, 50% of lubricant oils purchased become waste oils and the remaining 50% are burnt or lost during use). Therefore, every year the European Union needs to manage approximately 3 million tonnes of waste oil. In Greece, it is estimated that 60% of the lubricant oils placed on the market become waste. Waste from lubricant oils concern, in particular, the following categories of waste:
- 13 01 waste hydraulic oils
- 13 02 waste engine, gear and lubricating oils
- 13 03 waste insulating and heat transmission oils
- Finally, there are some six-digit codes in categories 13.04 and 13.05, which could be described as lubricant oils waste.
Lubricant oils waste is dangerous to public health and the environment because it presents toxic and carcinogenic substances in substantial quantities, such as heavy metals, polychlorinated hydrocarbons, polyaromatics, etc.
Uncontrolled disposal of lubricant oils waste causes pollution of the water, groundwater and soil. Specifically, 1 liter of lubricant oils waste can pollute up to 1 liter of drinking water. The burning of lubricant oils waste causes gaseous emissions problems.
The advocates of regeneration see the recycling of lubricant oils waste as the best solution for its recovery instead of incineration or landfill. Consequentially, the collection and regeneration substantially mitigate the environmental impacts that are caused by other methods.
Alternative management systems of lubricant oils aim:
- The return of lubricant oils waste from the consumer or any other end-user, in order to be channeled to the most suitable alternative solutions of waste management.
- The processing of the collected waste using clean technologies.