Confusion remains about the use of small waste oil burners (SWOBs), according to the Independent Garage Association which has been helping its members understand current regulations as the colder months arrive.
The trade body has reported a rise in the number of calls from members unsure about the legalities of using a SWOB in their workshop.
In its newsletter to members, the IGA said: “The old guidelines allowed local authorities to consider them on a case-by-case basis and, in most cases, exempt them from the regulations by issuing a simple permit costing less than £100 per year.
“This is likely to be cost prohibitive for most garages and the only alternative will be to dispose of waste oil via a registered waste carrier and only burn non-waste fuel.”
However, regulation changes made in 2016 mean it is now illegal to burn waste oil in a SWOB unless a permit is obtained under Schedule 13A of the Environmental Permitting Regulations 2010 at a cost of £3218 for the application and annual an fee of £1,384.
The change followed an amendment to bring SWOBs within wider waste incineration legislation designed to reduce the emission of air pollutants.
Options for garage owners
Speaking previously to GW, a DEFRA spokesperson said: “[Independent garages] could continue to use their SWOB but using non-waste fuel instead of waste oil.
“Or, if they want to continue to burn waste oil, they will need to obtain the necessary permit in accordance with Schedule 13A of the Environmental Permitting Regulations, meeting the requirements of the Industrial Emissions Directive (IED) for the operation of waste incineration and waste co-incineration plants.”
A spokesperson at ZM Heaters said: “There’s still uncertainty out there.
“The heaters are still available to buy due to the variety of fuels they can run on so it’s a tricky piece of legislation to enforce.
“We know of some customers who’ve changed fuel types or even heater type but the reality from DEFRA’s own numbers is that even under the previous permitting regime, there were many times more waste oil heaters in the market than there were permits issued.
“We welcome any input from IGA to ensure garages are aware of the legislation and can make informed decisions.”
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