Can Used Oil in New Zealand be Recycled into Other Products?

used oil containers

Petroleum recovery services have been relevant in New Zealand, as the country consumes millions of oil every year. This high rate of consumption, however, has begged the question of what to do with the used containers. Fortunately, these can be reused as an added element for paving road and industrial surfaces.

Recyclable Material

Some companies in the country have been working on a construction by-product from used oil containers, which involves granulating them before making asphalt grade bitumen. Civil construction firm Fulton Hogan used around 3,100 plastic containers that would have been sent to landfills.

The experiment took place at the Christchurch International Airport’s fire station. The company’s project will help in finding a sustainable purpose for used containers, especially amid the New Zealand government’s ban on offshore oil and gas exploration. According to Fulton Hogan’s Sophie Kennedy, residual oil left inside containers serves as the main reason these could not be recycled in the past.

Oil Drilling Permits

While Fulton Hogan’s study continues, the number of used oil containers may soon dwindle, due to the New Zealand government’s decision to stop providing offshore drilling permits. At least 27 sites in the country have been the energy industry’s source for oil and gas production.

However, it may take several years before there are any noticeable benefits because of the ban, as the government’s final issuance of the drilling permit would end in 2030. Oil companies have 31 valid permits, and offshore permits comprised 22 of the consents. Still, energy companies would need to look for petroleum recovery services and find out about what they can do with used oil and containers.

Energy firms need to observe best practices on sustainability that include waste oil collection and recovery for disposal. The recycling of used containers for road surfaces only highlights this need more than ever.