Used oil recycling awareness campaign launched

By John McPhaul

The Automotive Technicians and Mechanics Association of Puerto Rico launched a campaign on Sunday to raise awareness about the importance of the collection and disposal of used oils and thus prevent contamination of bodies of water and the environment.

“We have been locating community tanks for the collection of used oils throughout the island for 17 years,” said the president of the association, Julio Bonilla Meléndez, in a written statement. “However, this year we are increasing efforts to guide citizens regarding the location and importance of each of these community tanks, so that they can, free of charge, deposit used oil for the benefit of our environment and the common well being.”

Law 172 of Aug. 31, 1996, known as the Law for the Appropriate Management of Used Oil in Puerto Rico, establishes public policy regarding the collection, recovery, proper management and disposal of used oil generated on the island and used toxic residual waste that contains heavy metals such as lead, cadmium, chromium and arsenic, in addition to 24 carcinogens.

One quart (32 ounces) of used oil can contaminate 250,000 gallons of drinking water, Bonilla said.

“The initiative that we are carrying out together with the municipalities is yielding results. As an example, we can point out that in the Barranquitas recycling tank alone we have collected more than 34,000 gallons of used oil,” he said. “If we join in this community effort to conserve our environment, we can minimize the impact that mishandling of this chemical can cause.

Without a doubt, addressing this situation now will achieve a better planet for future generations.”

The municipalities that already have a tank for the collection of used oils and their location are:

Loíza, Public Works Department; Florida, Public Works; Las Marías, Recycling Center; Ciales, Recycling Center; Barranquitas, Public Works; Toa Alta, Recycling Center; Rincón, Public Works; Moca, Public Works; Guayanilla, Public Works; Hormigueros, Public Works; Mayagüez, Recycling Center; Maunabo, Public Works; Isabela, Public Works.

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