MechChem Africa

The ROSE Foundation (Recycling Oil Saves the Environment) has been championing the responsible collection and removal of used oil for proper recycling since 1994. Bubele Nyiba, CEO of the ROSE Foundation offers some practical advice.

2 Used Oil StorageUsed oil is a common by-product of mechanised processes in all industry sectors, and because of its harmful properties it is classified as a hazardous waste. Used lubricants contain harmful compounds and carcinogens that can easily contaminate the environment, especially if thrown down drains, into landfills or onto the ground.

As a hazardous substance, used oil is strictly governed by environmental laws and its storage and disposal must meet the requirements of the Waste Act.

Registering on SAWIS

Anyone generating more than 20 kg of used oil per day is required to register on the South African Waste Information System (SAWIS).

Once registered, the generators need to submit their figures every 90 days (quarterly) into the SAWIS. The information needs to be based on actual volumes and not estimates. The following information needs to be submitted and retained by the waste generator for five years and produced for inspection, when required:

(a)    The month and year to which the information applies.

(b)   The category of waste; HW07 Waste Oils 01 Waste oil.

(c)    The source from which waste comes.

(d)   The quantity of waste reported in tons.

Hazardous Waste Manifest with every load

As used oil is classified as hazardous waste, generators are required to maintain the below information on a Hazardous Waste Manifest, a document that will track the used oil from cradle to grave and offer a clear snapshot on how it has been managed.

  • A unique consignment identification number.

  • The generator’s contact details, including the contact person, physical and postal address, phone and fax number and email address.

  • The physical address of the site where the waste was generated.

  • An emergency contact number.

  • The origin/source of the waste (how it was generated).

  • A description of the waste (waste classification and waste category).

  • The physical nature/consistency of the waste (liquid, solid, sludge; pump-able, non-pump-able).

  • The quantity of waste.

  • Packaging (bulk, small containers, tank).

  • Transport type (tanker, truck, container).

  • Special handling instructions.

  • The date of collection / dispatch.

  • The intended receiver (waste manager).

For more information visit

The proper collection and storage of used oil

Used oil can find its way into our water table through disposal in drains and stormwater drains and by being poured directly onto the ground as either a dust suppressant or as a means of disposal.

To prevent this, oil should be drained into a clean container with a tight-fitting lid, such as a reusable combination drain pan/storage container. Use a specially designed plastic Sumpy or container to collect and store your used oil.

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