Motor-Oil Collection Helps Clean Up the Commute


Many large Turkish companies hire shuttle buses and vans to bring employees to and from work. Photo via Okur Tur.

A joint industry-government initiative in Turkey has collected 50,000 tons of waste oil over the past five years--much of it from a mainstay of many Turkish workers' daily lives, servis (service) buses.Though the country is generally not yet well served by trains or subways, buses of varying sizes carry travelers to the far reaches of the largest cities and between the smallest villages. But in a sprawling, traffic-clogged metropolis like Istanbul, riding the city bus can make for a long commute to corporate workplaces, which are often located in industrial outskirts.

As a result, many companies offer service buses that pick workers up at a variety of central locations and take them, making few or no stops along the way, to their workplaces, then back at the end of the day. A large company can have an entire parking lot full of tour buses, shuttle buses, and mini-vans employed carting workers back and forth. It's much more efficient than having all those people driving solo, but all those fleets still make up a significant chunk of the city's transportation footprint.

Service vehicles including company shuttles accounted for 65 percent of the waste oil collected in 2008, according to the English-language newspaper Today's Zaman. The collection program, operated by the Petroleum Industry Association under the direction of the Ministry of Environment and Forestry, also gathers used oil from industrial factories, public institutions, oil-production plants, municipalities, and gas stations. Reports the paper:

An average of 500,000 tons of oil is used for non-residential purposes in Turkey annually, and 100,000 tons of this ends up as waste oil. Only 20 percent of this is collected; by comparison, 70 percent of Europe’s waste oil is collected. The remainder is sold on the market through illegal means or ends up polluting water and soil.

The 16,094 tons of waste motor oil collected in 2008 is only a small amount of that total, but over five years the environmental effort has already kept 40 million cubic meters of water from being polluted and saved an amount of energy equivalent to what 300,000 people use in a year. Via: "Collection of 50,000 tons of waste oil prevents pollution," Today's Zaman
More on recycling, and choosing, motor oil:
Ways You Can Recycle Your Oil
Synthetic vs. Conventional Motor Oil: Which is Best for Your Needs?
Green Your Two-Cycle Scooter/Moped with G-Oil Green Motor Oil
G-Oil: Bio-Oil Passes API Tests, Soon to be in Retail Stores
Recycling Used Engine Oil into Fuel Oil
Oil Recycling Down Under

Tags: Commuting | Pollution | Transportation | Turkey