Central America: management of used lubricants in Central America: final report

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Central America: management of used lubricants in Central America: final report

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Each year, over 100 million barrels of used lubricating oils (billions of Liters of waste oil) are dumped onto the global world environment. In 1995, it was estimated that only 44% of available waste lubricants was collected worldwide (Reference 1). Therefore, 56% of used oils are NOT collected and, thus, they are either misused or discarded by the end user into the world environment. Considering that the worldwide lubricant yearly demand is ca. 40 billion Liters (~10.5 Billion Gallons), this implies that over 22 billion Liters of used oils are being disposed of in garbage cans, sewers, rivers, and backyards - harmful practices that will likely contaminate our drinking water, river streams, lakes, etc. For example, only one pint of oil can produce a one-acre slick on surface water, harming fish, aquatic animals, waterfowl, insects, and the base of the aquatic food web: floating plankton and algae. The above highlights the importance of sound, comprehensive, and proactive environmental laws and regulations for collecting, handling, transporting, storing, and recycling used oils. An effective Used Oil Management and Recycling Program is needed in all countries to protect, conserve, and save our environment. Accordingly, the current CAM project's goals were: Review the current environmental laws and regulations for used lubricants Evaluate the current market, business, and consumption of lubricants Survey the current practices of used lubricants handling Compare vs. used oil handling and recycling programs in leading western countries Provide business recommendations for follow up work and future studies


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Each year, over 100 million barrels of used lubricating oils (billions of Liters of waste oil) are dumped onto the global world environment. In 1995, it was estimated that only 44% of available waste lubricants was collected worldwide (Reference 1). Therefore, 56% of used oils are NOT collected and, thus, they are either misused or discarded by the end user into the world environment. Considering that the worldwide lubricant yearly demand is ca. 40 billion Liters (~10.5 Billion Gallons), this implies that over 22 billion Liters of used oils are being disposed of in garbage cans, sewers, rivers, and backyards - harmful practices that will likely contaminate our drinking water, river streams, lakes, etc. For example, only one pint of oil can produce a one-acre slick on surface water, harming fish, aquatic animals, waterfowl, insects, and the base of the aquatic food web: floating plankton and algae. The above highlights the importance of sound, comprehensive, and proactive environmental laws and regulations for collecting, handling, transporting, storing, and recycling used oils. An effective Used Oil Management and Recycling Program is needed in all countries to protect, conserve, and save our environment. Accordingly, the current CAM project's goals were: Review the current environmental laws and regulations for used lubricants Evaluate the current market, business, and consumption of lubricants Survey the current practices of used lubricants handling Compare vs. used oil handling and recycling programs in leading western countries Provide business recommendations for follow up work and future studies
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