Groundwater sullied

Published: Wednesday 31 May 2000

almost four million litres of used engine oil seeped into the soil and contaminated the groundwater besides polluting the air in KwaZulu-Natal during the second half of last year. This is according to estimates made by the Rose Foundation, a private company that collects and recycles used lubricating oil around the country.

Spokesperson Simon Norton said 24 million litres of oil were sold in the latter half of 1999 and about 70 per cent of this was recycled. However, the remaining 30 per cent of used engine oil was dumped illegally. This now poses a serious and persistent threat to the environment.

According to studies conducted by the Rose Foundation, oil dumped in illegal landfill sites quickly seeped into groundwater and rivers. In a plea addressed to automobile users, Norton urged them to get rid of their oil in an environmental-friendly way.

The foundation has 7,600 mini oil recycling tanks situated at variousplaces around the country. For vehicle owners, the company offers "Sumpy" plastic containers that can be utilised to collect the used oil and can later be disposed of at several collection points.

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