Mechanics ‘stuck’ by uncollected used motor oil

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By CASS MARRETT

A rep from Queenstown a automotive workshop says delays in having used motor oil collected could lead to an environmental disaster.

The manager of one automotive workshop says they’ve been waiting months for the used oil to be taken away, while another mechanic says it’s a ‘‘crisis’’, leaving his workshop, and several others, ‘‘stuck’’.

‘‘We cannot service more vehicles, as we have nowhere to go with the old oil,’’ he says.

Mountain Scene’s agreed not to name the mechanics, but one says the oil from his workshop hasn’t been collected since last year — and he’s been making calls to Waste Management about a pick-up since March.

‘‘They say they will, but they always [give] a different excuse.’’

Another manager says their workshop’s got an 800-litre holding tank which was full to the brim, leaving his team to put overflow into multiple barrels.

‘‘[The owner of the workshop] was at the stage where he was phoning [Waste Management], and saying, ‘look, guys, if you guys don’t get here for this oil, there’s gonna be an environmental disaster here’.’’

A Waste Management spokeswoman says the delays are due to Covid and nationwide driver shortages.

‘‘Compounding the issue is the fact that a competitor oil collection service has pulled out of the market, which is driving up demand for the Waste Management service,’’ she says.

The spokeswoman says services should be back to normal ‘‘over the next few weeks’’.

cass.marrett@scene.co.nz