Grace Novacs assistant manager at North West Fuels is coiling the vacuum hose used to extract oil from vessels docked at the marina Petro Canada. The company won a Top Collector award on March 23, for recycling used oil, antifreeze and air filters. (Photo: K-J Millar/The Northern View)

Top award to Prince Rupert’s Northwest Fuels for oil recycling

Prince Rupert return collection facility honoured for exemplary performance

Northwest Fuels in Prince Rupert has been recognized for its excellence as a return collection facility of used oil by receiving a Top Collector Award from the BC Used Oil Management Association (BCUOMA) on March 23.

The marina Petro Canada facility specializes in the collection of used oil, antifreeze, and air filters from marine vessels in the city and won one of the top ten placements in B.C. Also owned by the same company is their main location Terrace PetroCanada which won 10th place.

It is the first time either location has won the awards, Gary Ainscow general manager for NW Fuels said.

Thirty B.C. Return Collection Facility (RCF) businesses received Top Collector Award plaques. Businesses were honoured for their exemplary performance and commitment to the collection of used oil and antifreeze materials across the province throughout 2020.

“These B.C. organizations are some of the most dedicated used oil and antifreeze Return Collection Facilities in Canada. They continue to provide convenient, environmentally-friendly and easy-to-use infrastructures for their DIY customers to return their used oil and antifreeze materials,” David Lawes, CEO of BCUOMA said. “Their efforts were even more impressive throughout 2020 due to the pandemic, as they had to navigate their way through many additional challenges to ensure their customers were comfortable and safe while returning their materials.”

“Because we have the marina, we collect most the oil from the boats,” Ainscow said. “We are just trying to keep oil from going into the wrong places.”

The system to vacuum the liquids from the boats is free and no one is charged for it, Ainscow said of the program which they have been running for more than 20 years.

At the Terrace location local contractors, the general community, and industry such as loggers or truckers, bring the used liquids in to be stored, then re-cycled.

The used vehicle liquids are then collected by TerraPure, a hazardous waste facility that recycles the oil and antifreeze.

“The used oil that is collected is regenerated into new oil and burner products for various industries. So, none of it ends up in a landfill. It all goes back into vehicle juice again,” Ainsocow said.

The used oil is a valuable resource that can be refined into lubricating oil or sold as raw material inputs for manufacturing and energy products. The collected oil filters contain reusable scrap metal that steel producers can reuse for products like rebar, mail and wire. Plastic oil and antifreeze containers can be recycled into new containers, drainage tiles, and parking curbs. Antifreeze can be refined and reused as new automotive antifreeze.

Criteria to be a Top Collector includes the total amount of used oil, oil filters, oil containers, antifreeze and antifreeze containers collected at the RCF location; the total number of years participating in BCUOMA’s RCF program, and a demonstration of continued support of BCUOMA and other recycling stewardship related programs.

In addition, BCUOMA added two new award categories in 2020 – Most Improved Award for the RCF that increased its collection rates by the largest percentage, and Long Time Service Award that recognizes six RCFs that have been dedicated program members since BCUOMA’s inception in 2003.

K-J Millar | Journalist
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