Five provincial used oil material recycling associations extended their cooperation to form the National Used Oil Material Advisory Council (NUOMAC) on September 28th, 2004, in Kelowna, British Columbia. This organization coordinates the Canada-wide used oil and antifreeze recycling effort and encourages consistent national standards for this unique and successful industry-led stewardship recycling program.
The founding non-profit associations in 2004 were from British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Quebec. Associations from New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island joined in 2014 and 2015 respectively. The Newfoundland and Labrador and Nova Scotia associations joined in 2019 and 2020 respectively. The waste streams include used oil, used oil filters, used antifreeze, used plastic oil/antifreeze/DEF containers and pails, and aerosol cans in Quebec, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, Newfoundland and Labrador, and Nova Scotia. For EHC applicable products designated by each province for recycling, click here.
Used oil is the largest single source of hazardous recyclable waste material in Canada and must be disposed of properly. Since the first program was launched in 1997, this recycling model has gained acceptance throughout most of Canada. The goal is to have fully integrated programs in all provinces and territories of Canada.
In 1988, the Canadian Petroleum Products Institute (CPPI) commissioned a task force on used oil materials recycling at the request of the Canadian Council of Ministers of the Environment (CCME). What developed is a government-approved, industry-led used oil materials recycling program model that has been acknowledged world-wide as working environmentally, economically and socio-economically.
With the addition of used antifreeze materials to several provincial collection networks, the Council revised its name to the National Used Oil Material and Antifreeze Advisory Council (NUOMAAC) in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan in spring 2015.
NUOMAAC is making every drop count. Since program inception, millions of litres of used oil and antifreeze and kilograms of plastic containers, and millions of filters have been collected, recycled and reused through this program. None of the material collected goes to landfills. In most provinces, used oil is not spread on roads.
Under the program, a network of return collection points is established. The program is funded not by a government tax, but by an Environmental Handling Charge (EHC) remitted by all retailers, wholesalers or first sellers on lubricating products including filters, antifreeze and plastic containers. The EHC is remitted to the association(s) in the province(s) in which the company does business.
A Return Incentive (RI) is then paid to private sector collectors and processors to pick-up and deliver to government approved recycling facilities where the materials are processed into new products.
Representatives of the provincial UOMA programs including staff, Board Chairs and other stakeholders meet regularly to review programs and best practices.