Photo by ASHLI BARRETT/Advocate Staff

Recycling ambassadors preach merit of oil disposal

As “recycling ambassadors,” Amber Becker and Yasmin Aidun’s responsibilities during Westerner Days include promoting the recycling of oil and other materials.

As “recycling ambassadors,” Amber Becker and Yasmin Aidun’s responsibilities during Westerner Days include promoting the recycling of oil and other materials.

But they also take turns donning the over-stuffed suit of Mr. Oil Drop — mascot for the Alberta Used Oil Management Association.

With temperatures pushing 30 C on Wednesday, the prospects of tramping about the asphalt midway as Mr. Oil Drop were not inviting.

“We only go for a half hour — short sprints,” said Aidun.

The perspiration is worthwhile if children are drawn to the rotund character, and their parents accept a pamphlet about recycling or decide to visit Becker and Aidun’s booth in the salon area of the Prairie Pavilion.

There, they find a wealth of information about recycling oil, oil filters and oil containers, as well as tires, electronics and paints.

“Oil is actually the single most hazardous recyclable material that we deal with,” said Becker, an environmental earth science student at the University of Alberta who is spending her summer working for the Alberta Used Oil Management Association.

In fact, one litre of used oil can contaminate a million litres of water — making it critical that such liquids be disposed of properly.

By taking it to collection sites like the south Red Deer Canadian Tire or the Sylvan Lake or Lacombe bottle depots, the oil can be processed into lubricating oil or burner fuel, said Becker.

“It does not go onto the roads or in landfills or back into the environment.”

Similarly, she said, it’s important to ensure that used oil filters and oil containers are dealt with in a similar fashion.

A filter can contain a cup of oil and is about 85 per cent steel — material that can have a valuable second life.

Oil containers should not be mixed with other recyclable plastics, but surrendered to the same collection sites for use in products like fence posts, parking curbs and patio furniture, said Becker.

Aidun, who’s studying urban planning at the University of Alberta, has a summer job with the Alberta Recycling Management Authority.

She’s pitching the importance of recycling tires, electronics and paints.

Used tires can be processed into playground surfaces, roofing shingles, bricks, mulch and landfill liners, with that range of products expanding, said Aidun.

“The University of Alberta is partnering with Alberta Recycling to see if recycled tire being incorporated into roads is something that they want to move ahead with.”

Electronic devices can be stripped to remove hazardous materials like mercury and battery parts, as well as precious metals and other valuable components. And used paint can be turned into new paint or fuel, and its containers reclaimed.

“To date, about six million litres of paint have been recycled, 85 million tires have been recycled and six million TVs and computers,” said Aidun of the Alberta figures.

Locally, the Red Deer Waste Management Facility south of the city accepts all three materials.

Other Central Alberta depots can be found on the Alberta Recycling Management Authority website at albertarecycling.ca.

Depots for used oil, filters and containers can also be located on the Alberta Used Oil Management Association website at usedoilrecyclingab.com.

Last year, more than 95 million litres of used oil, 8.4 million filters and 2.5 million kg of used plastic containers were recycled in Alberta.

Becker and Aidun said public awareness about recycling appears high. The options for disposing of oil seems well-known, said Becker, although the same may not be true for other oil products.

“People did not know that the containers and the filters could be recycled as well.”

Becker and Aidun will be at Westerner Days throughout the week.

hrichards@bprda.wpengine.com

Just Posted

Police probe deadly shooting that left 3 dead, 12 wounded in Toronto’s Greektown

TORONTO — Three people died in a shooting rampage that took place… Continue reading

Alberta UCP Leader Jason Kenney says hateful comments won’t be tolerated

EDMONTON — Alberta United Conservative Leader Jason Kenney, addressing party friction over… Continue reading

Charming great white shark delights followers with return to waters off N.S.

HALIFAX — Hilton is back. The great white shark who stole the… Continue reading

One in seven sexual assault cases in 2017 deemed ‘unfounded’: Statcan

OTTAWA — Statistics Canada says some 3,900 sexual assaults reported to police… Continue reading

Child’s play at Westerner Days

Balloons bring out the child in everyone

WATCH: Gazebo groundbreaking in Waskasoo

Fifty per cent of the $100,000 project is funded by a provincial government grant

Fiat Chrysler is shaken without visionary CEO behind wheel

MILAN — Investors sent shares in Fiat Chrysler sliding Monday as they… Continue reading

HMCS St. John’s, Sea King return to Halifax port after overseas mission

HALIFAX — HMCS St. John’s and its 240-member crew pulled into their… Continue reading

Danforth rampage continues a deadly year of gun violence for Toronto

TORONTO — Sunday’s deadly rampage in Toronto marks the latest in a… Continue reading

One in seven sexual assault cases in 2017 deemed ‘unfounded’: Statcan

OTTAWA — Statistics Canada says some 3,900 sexual assaults reported to police… Continue reading

Iran dismisses Trump’s explosive threat to country’s leader

TEHRAN, Iran — Iranians on Monday shrugged off the possibility that a… Continue reading

Americans in blended families cope with toll of deportation

BOCA DEL R\XCDO, Mexico — It’s almost as if Letty Stegall is… Continue reading

Residents flee forest fire near Greek capital of Athens

ATHENS, Greece — Residents fled their homes Monday as a swift-moving fire… Continue reading

Charming great white shark delights followers with return to waters off N.S.

HALIFAX — Hilton is back. The great white shark who stole the… Continue reading

Most Read


Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $185 for 260 issues (must live in delivery area to qualify) Unlimited Digital Access 99 cents for the first four weeks and then only $15 per month Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $15 a month