In its continuous effort to understand the possibilities and limitations of product recovery, UOMA has launched a series of studies across Canada in order to obtain sufficient data to update recoverable antifreeze rates nationwide.
Two studies were conducted across several Canadian provinces. The first, in 2011, was commissioned to Dessau and NI Corporation by SOGHU in order to evaluate the potential for antifreeze recoverable in each of the seven provinces involved. The study concluded by suggesting rates of recoverable antifreeze varying from 38% to 48% depending on the province and the calculation methods used. In 2018, a second study was conducted by the Canadian UOMA’s, who commissioned Chamard Stratégies Environnementales (merged with the Consulting Services Division of NI Corporation) in hopes of updating and, if possible, quantifying this recoverable potential based on more recent data regarding main categories of users. The sectors taken into account by the study were Automobiles, Road Transportation and Others. In light of this context, Chamard evaluated the potential recoverable antifreeze for the reference year of 2018. The study concluded by suggesting varying rates of recoverable antifreeze, ranging from 41% to 69% depending on the province and the calculation methods used. This result suggests that there has been very little change in industry practices and vehicle cooling system over the past 10 years in Canada.
Additionally, the study revealed two specific situations in which the antifreeze is not accounted for by the associations. The first one is the volume of antifreeze recovered in used oil. Although antifreeze represents only 1% of the volume of used oil collected, this single percent is very significant considering the difference between the amount of antifreeze in circulation compared to that of oil. The presence of antifreeze in used oil can be explained, in part, by bad habits from generators who mix all fluids recovered as part of their operations. This portion is considered recoverable because proper practices can be implemented in order to accumulate glycol separately.. Moreover, a significant amount of antifreeze unaccounted for comes from volumes recovered by vehicle recyclers. The calculation based on a larger number of respondents show that a national average of 13.2% of antifreeze transiting through vehicle recyclers will be resold without ever being collected and processed through any of the UOMA programs.
The UOMA’s strive to achieve better result and adapt to an evolving industry. Each province encounters its own set of circumstances, and further studies may be conducted by provincial UOMA’s in the future in order to get a more personalized assessment of the situation on a provincial level specifically.
Based on the findings of these studies, and by using the data they provide, the UOMA’s will be able to effectively address the problematic of antifreeze recovering. With a clearer idea of where the gaps are and what volumes they account for, the associations now have a better understanding of where to concentrate their awareness efforts. They will reach out to generators and vehicle recyclers to promote better practices in order to directly impact the volumes of used antifreeze recovered going forward.