First Nation gets oil recycling facility

Will Burrows (left) and Ernie French-Downey at the new facility.

VICTORIA, BC – BC Used Oil Management Association (BCUOMA) worked with the Takla First Nation to establish a new recycling collection facility to help facilitate the responsible collection and management of used oil, antifreeze, filters and containers.

The new Takla First Nation Return Collection Facility (RCF) is located at 144 Bah’lats Rd., Takla Landing in the Central Interior of British Columbia on the eastern shore of Takla Lake – approximately 320 km north of Prince George.

BCUOMA staff and contractors travelled to the remote Takla Landing and transferred over 1,200 litres of used oil, used oil filters, and empty oil pails and lids to a secure 20-foot modified sea container to ensure that used oil materials were safely collected, stored and managed.

“Takla First Nation’s council requested assistance from BC Used Oil Management Association to assess their current used oil recycling program, and implement a new system that included on-site training to ensure future used oil materials are responsibly collected, safely stored, and free of contamination,” said David Lawes, CEO, BC Used Oil Management Association.

“BCUOMA also helped them set up their new RCF infrastructure, which included used oil storage containers, funnels, and detailed recycling signage.”

Takla First Nation use a backup diesel-powered generator to supply electricity to their community when they lose power, and they needed the ability to safely collect and store their accumulated used oil materials. They also continue to collect program materials from within the community, and clean up used oil and hazardous materials left by outside businesses working in their territory in the past.

“Takla First Nation has been proactive in moving forward in creating a sustainable, environmentally friendly, and healthy community,” said Ernie French-Downey, public works manager, Takla First Nation, and Indigenous Zero Waste Technical Advisory Group (IZWTAG) Board Member.

“We understand the importance of creating a coordinated used oil recycling system, and permanent recycling infrastructure in order to safely collect and contain our used oil materials. This cleanup effort by our team and BCUOMA was a huge success!”

BCUOMA continues to look for opportunities to upgrade and improve recycling facility locations across the province, even in the most remote areas. Municipalities, private businesses, nonprofit organizations, and other sectors interested in BCUOMA’s RCF new infrastructure grants can find out more information at

Used oil can be re-refined into new lubricating oil and used as a fuel in pulp mills, cement plants and asphalt plants. Any vehicle maintenance facilities, automobile owners, and other machinery maintenance operations that use oil also can use re-refined oil.

Additionally, used oil filters contain reusable scrap metal, which steel producers can reuse for metal products like rebar, nails and wire. Used antifreeze can be reprocessed to produce new automotive antifreeze. Plastic oil and antifreeze containers can be recycled into new oil containers, flowerpots, pipe, guardrails, and patio furniture.

Each year, approximately 50 million litres of oil, and 3 million litres of antifreeze are collected and  managed through the approximately 300 public collection facilities and over 4,000 generators across the province, which are managed by the BCUOMA program.

In 2019, BCUOMA collected more than 51 million litres of used oil, which was the highest total amount in the program’s history.

Formed in 2003, the BCUOMA is a not-for-profit group dedicated to the collection and recycling of lubricating oil, oil filters, oil containers, antifreeze and antifreeze containers in BC.