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West Oxfordshire District Council drops kerbside collections for engine oil and car batteries due to low demand

West Oxfordshire District Council will no longer pick up engine oil from the kerbside for recycling with immediate effect, as it remains focused on providing a value for money waste service, which responds to the needs of its residents.

The Council is also changing how it will collect cooking oil, which must now be presented inside the caddy along with other food waste, rather than being left out in bottles on collection day.

The changes follow a recent decision to stop the kerbside collection of car batteries; a service that was discontinued last autumn due to lack of uptake amongst residents.

Councillor Norman MacRae, Cabinet Member for Environment at West Oxfordshire District Council said: “We’re proud that our recycling rate puts us among some of the best performing areas in the country and that’s all thanks to West Oxfordshire’s residents. However, to keep our waste and recycling services running efficiently and most cost-effectively for the taxpayer, it’s important that we revisit periodically the services we offer to ensure they remain fit for purpose.

“Therefore, we have decided to no longer accept engine oil and car batteries from the kerb following a review of our recycling services. The vast majority of households do not use these marginal services so, in light of this, combined with meeting external challenges such as rising fuel prices, it makes financial and practical sense to withdraw them.
“As part of the review, we are also modifying how we collect cooking oil at the kerb for recycling. With more people working from home over the last couple of years, our kerbside services are under greater pressure and so we are making some minor adaptations to meet this demand. Rather than presenting oil in bottles, we are now asking residents to add small amounts to their normal food waste scraps instead to make the process quicker for crews so they can focus their efforts on the main business of emptying recycling bins, boxes and caddies.”

Previously, the Council’s waste contractor Ubico was collecting, on average, two to three car batteries each week. Residents had to book a collection slot before a special trip was made by Ubico to pick the batteries up.
Householders concerned about residual grease in their food waste caddies from adding cooking oil, are encouraged to line them with newspaper or compostable or unwanted plastic bags, which will help keep the caddy clean.

Residents will still be able to take car batteries, engine oil and excess amounts of cooking oil to the Household Recycling Centre at Dix Pit to dispose of them. Garages and other outlets that sell car batteries are usually willing to accept old batteries back or, as an alternative, they can be taken to a licensed scrap metal merchant for recycling.