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HMRC internal manual

Oils Technical Manual

Introduction and overview of oils activity: Contaminated, waste and recovered oils: Uses for 'waste' oils

The fact that an oil is deemed by the person(s) disposing of it, to be ‘waste’ does not mean that the oil does not have any value, nor does it mean that it cannot be put to other uses.

The uses ‘waste’ oil may be put to will depend on its physical state or condition when it is deemed to have become waste, for instance:

  • Some ‘waste’ oil may be used as a road fuel without any reprocessing or cleaning as it is essentially the same specification as when it was originally supplied;
  • Some ‘waste’ oil may instead be used as a heating oil and burnt in a furnace to produce useful heat where it is off-specification and no longer considered suitable for its original use
  • Other ‘waste’ oil which has become heavily contaminated by other substances, may be beyond economic recovery, and would have to be disposed of by incineration or other environmentally friendly means as it has little calorific value, and could not be used as heating fuel.