Dos and Don’ts of Burning Waste Oil by Province and Territory
A waste oil burner can serve as a heater for your garage, shop, and even your business to combat skyrocketing energy costs. Burning your waste oil is not only cost effective, but it also provides a safer alterative to the risks and liabilities of hauling.
Each province and territory in Canada has its own unique set of rules when it comes to the licensing and burning of oil. Here is a summary of the waste oil burning regulations in your area and what you can do to conserve natural resources and save money.
Benefits of Waste Oil Burning
Waste oil burners provide a safe method of recycling existing oil while reducing your heating bills. Corporations in Canada have adopted this practice as a means of reducing overhead, while independent shop owners and residents use them as a cost-saving solution.
Waste oil is worth an estimated $0.05 a gallon hauled; when reclaimed as fuel, it may be worth as much as $0.97 per gallon. Though it may be useless for its original purpose, waste oil still contains valuable BTUs that can be converted into energy. As technology has progressed, waste oil burning systems have become more sophisticated, lighter, stronger, and more efficient. They also yield a good return on investment, since you can recoup your expenses in as little as a year.
Waste oil heating makes good financial sense, but how do you know what the rules are in your area? We’ve compiled a guide to waste oil burning for every province and territory in Canada. Use it as a starting point, but always check with your local government for additional municipal restrictions and regulations.
The department of Yukon Environmental Regulations allows waste oil burning in space heaters and approved furnaces. They estimate that 60% of all used oil generated in the Yukon is recovered by burning. Approved furnaces provide a cost-effective solution for disposing of used oil, but only when they adhere to the directions set forth by local law.
The Yukon requires all oil burners to be approved by the Canadian Standards Association (CSA), Underwriters Laboratory of Canada (UL), or the YTG Protective Services Branch. Failure to comply with these regulations makes the operators subject to fines.
Anyone who burns waste oil must also have an applicable permit. Operators using their own waste exclusively will need a Special Waste Disposal Permit, while those accepting oil from other generators should apply for a Special Waste Facility Permit. Both are available free of charge through the department of Yukon Environmental Regulations. Those interested in applying for a permit or learning more about waste oil burning or disposal should contact (867) 667-5683.
The Northwest Territories Department of Environment and Natural resources reports that used and waste oil are a major source of water and ground contamination, accounting for around 70% of NWT’s hazardous material. Much of this (an estimated 15 trillion litres since 1987) is unaccounted for, while only 240,000 were recycled. Waste oil burners provide a safe and effective method for disposing of used fuel.
The incineration of waste fuel and used oil is permitted as long as the operator has an applicable permit and burns in an approved receptacle and location. Anyone wishing to burn used oil must register with the Chief Environmental Protection Officer (EPO). You must also keep a record of all your activities. If you burn fewer than 200 litres per year, you may be exempt from some regulations, though you still must manage your materials in compliance with the Environmental Protection Act.
For public health reasons, waste oil burning is prohibited in residential areas. For questions about the registration process, contact your nearest ENR office.
The Government of Nunavut, Department of the Environment regulates waste fuel and used oil disposal. When last checked in 1990, citizens of Nunavut produced an average of 450,000 litres of crankcase oil annually. Today, those numbers are likely much greater, as we’ve experienced an increase in SUV, snowmobiling, and ATV use as well as mining and construction activity. Used oil is generally discarded because it has impurities that render it useless for its original purpose. Waste fuel and used oil are generated from a variety of applications, including residential, industrial, and commercial use.
Used oil and waste fuel may be burned in Nunavut for heat recovery. All burners must be approved by the Underwriters Laboratory of Canada, the Canadian Standards Association, or any other testing agency the Fire Marshall deems acceptable. While Nunavut doesn’t require special permits or licensing, all burners must have an exhaust vent connected to outside ambient air for safety.
The Government of British Columbia’s Ministry of Environment publishes comprehensive rules regarding the transport and disposal of used oil, which the BC Used Oil Management Association (BCUOMA) regulates. In an attempt to keep British Columbia’s water throughways clean, BCUOMA has over 300 active do-it-yourself drop off locations for used oil throughout the province.
Waste oil burning is an equally effective way to dispose of used fuel, and British Columbia does allow incineration. Each type of fuel must meet certain specifications, and residents and businesses must maintain up-to-date records. For more information refer to BC’s Hazardous Waste Legislation and Regulations here.
The Department of the Environment in Alberta is committed to ethically and responsibly recycling and reusing hazardous wastes. As such, it established the Alberta Used Oil Management Association to offer depots across the province for residential and commercial parties.
Waste fuel and used oil burning are regulated in accordance with the Environmental Protection and Enhancement Act. If you want to burn used oil or waste fuel, you must register with Alberta Environment and get a Personal Identification Number (PIN). Failure to comply with these regulations may result in fines or other penalties.
The government of Alberta recognizes waste fuel and used oil burning as a safe and cost-effective alternative to recycling. Check that your heater or burner complies with all local fire and safety standards. Direct additional questions to the Alberta Environment Regional Office.
The Saskatchewan Ministry of Environment has established guidelines on the incineration of used oil and waste fuels. While having a permit isn’t strictly necessary, the Ministry may decide to require them to ensure that ambient air quality standards are met.
The design and construction of all waste burners must comply with standards set forth by the CSA or ULC. They must also meet all local fire codes and residential standards, which vary by municipality. Those who wish to use used oil for space heating must:
- Burn at a rate slower than 500,000 BTUs/hr.
- Ensure that waste oil equipment is kept at over 100 metres away from all residences, including secondary residences like cottages.
- Only burn waste oil of their own or procured from other individuals from the maintenance of personal vehicles.
Direct all questions about these policies to the Saskatchewan Ministry of Environment Client Services Office at 1-800-567-4224.
Rural Manitoba produces massive amounts of waste oil each year: some 4 million litres from farming alone. The Manitoba Branch of Environmental Approval is tasked with regulating the burning of waste fuel. This organization recognizes waste fuel burning as a safe and effective method of recycling and disposal and allows burning for the purpose of heat recovery.
Anyone handling or transporting hazardous waste in Manitoba must have a permit, and all used oil burning machines must comply with province and local fire standards. For additional information, contact your local Fire Marshal or call the Manitoba Branch of Environmental Approval Hazardous Waste Program.
Ontario’s Ministry of Environment and Climate Change is committed to maintaining and enhancing healthy communities in Ontario by protecting the province’s air, land, and water. The Ministry recognizes used oil as hazardous waste; as such, it has regulations for its transport, incineration, and removal.
Residents and businesses must burn waste oil in accordance with the laws set forth in the Environmental Protection Act. Waste fuel burning is permitted in Northern Ontario, but it’s prohibited in Southern Ontario.
All businesses and residents who wish to burn waste fuel in Northern Ontario must obtain a permit from the Ministry. To find the office nearest you, call toll free at 1-800-565-4923.
Hazardous material in Quebec is outlined in the Environmental Quality Act and regulated by the Minister of Sustainable Development, Environment, Wildlife, and Parks. According to the Environmental Quality Act, no one may emit, deposit, or burn a hazardous material into open air. Waste fuel burning for space heating, however, is permitted.
All parties interested in burning waste fuel in a burner must obtain a permit from the Minister of Sustainable Development, Environment, Wildlife, and Parks. Exempt from this rule are those who were issued permits prior to 1998 and facilities that operate off Quebec’s highway system.
The New Brunswick Department of Environment and Local Government is tasked with regulating and enforcing the rules set forth in the Environmental Quality Act, which was enacted in 2002. As part of this act, the Lieutenant Governor set forth regulations pertaining to waste fuel burning.
The government permits those who produce used oils to burn the substance as fuel, as long as it is in an approved furnace that the producer owns. Used oil must be burned at a rate less than 15 litres per hour per premises. Additionally, every furnace used to burn crankcase oil must conform with the standards outlined in provincial and municipal law. Check with your local Fire Marshal for details.
Nova Scotia recognizes the merits of used oil burning, which is permitted throughout the region. However, those wishing to use waste oil as a fuel source must comply with specific regulations:
- The oil must not be contaminated; a laboratory analysis must attest to this fact.
- Those wishing to burn waste fuel must notify an administrator 30 days before doing so.
- All parties must have prior written approval from an Administrator.
- Prior to January 31st, everyone who burns waste fuel throughout the year must provide a written report detailing the amount of oil burned in the previous year.
The previous rules don’t apply to residents who use crankcase oil from personal vehicles in an approved oil burning furnace. They must, however, have written approval from an Administrator to use their burners on their premises.
Prince Edward Island
The Province of Prince Edward Island Office of Communities, Land, and Environment regulates businesses and citizens who produce and wish to reuse hazardous waste. Businesses and individuals who generate hazardous waste must register with the department as a “hazardous waste generator.” To receive a Provincial Identification Number (PIN), all generators should complete a Waste Carrier/Generator/Receiver Registration Form.
Businesses must maintain records of all hazardous waste management activity. Individuals who are interested in operating a used oil burner on Prince Edward Island should contact the Air Quality and Hazardous Materials Office at (902) 368-5037 for more information, as a permit is required.
The province of Newfoundland allows residential and commercial waste oil burning for fuel, given the following:
- Each furnace, boiler, or burner must comply with Air Pollution Control regulations.
- No one is permitted to burn used oil, waste products, or any other material in a combustion process machine unless they are using it in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions.
- Each piece of combustion equipment must have emission control devices that the Minister has approved.
- The rate of oil burning must not exceed the equipment design.
- Each person wishing to burn used oil in an approved machine must have the written consent of the Minister.
The benefits of used oil burning are numerous. In most provinces, used oil burning is allowed, provided that you get permission and use approved models. For further information on specific rules in your province or municipality, check with your local department or ministry of the environment.
EnergyLogic is the leading provider of waste oil burners, both in Canada and around the globe. Our burners, boilers, and furnaces represent an efficient and cost-effective solution for your heating needs. For more information about our models and services, contact us today.
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