Small waste oil burner confusion remains two years on from regulation changes

Trade body reports a rise in number of calls from members unsure about legalities of using a SWOB in their workshop

Small waste oil burner confusion remains two years on from regulation changes
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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.”

Current law

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.”

Are you aware of current regulations surrounding the use of SWOBs? Share your comments below.

Home Page Forums Small waste oil burner confusion remains two years on from regulation changes

Viewing 5 posts - 1 through 5 (of 5 total)
  • Author
  • #167231 Reply
    Mr RLaw

    How paying £3218 aplication & £1384 per year reduces the emissions of air polloutants

    #167232 Reply
    william stephens

    I have been told by three heating companys that in a vehicle workshop since 2016 only roof mounting heaters are legal.
    I hope this is correct as they have condemend my floor standing Powmatic.
    can you verify this is so.
    regards Bill Stephens.

    #167233 Reply
    Thomas Helm

    Hi ref the small waste oil burners .I have had 1 of these in my workshop in sefton Liverpool for about 12 years. I was licensed with sefton council & received an inspection every year & paid the fee .When this changed I had a visit from the environmental officer to tell me that I would no longer be able to use it for waste oil but could carry on using it with kerosene or red diesel .I have been doing this now this being the third year .Obviously an added expense & I now have to pay for waste oil disposal but on a slightly positive note I don’t need a license to burn this fuel

    #167235 Reply

    If it harms the enviroment then should not be done,it’s like paying a back hander to give money for permission ,we need to reuse the oil and if you look at the diesel emmisions levels currently sending cars for scrap burning a gallon of oil makes a mockery of the whole thing

    #167236 Reply

    This looks like a policy implemented so the government doesn’t have to ban small waste oil burners and suffer the backlash, instead simply pricing most garages out knowing full well that £3200 for an application fee and an annual fee of £1300 is an expense most small businesses can’t afford.

    If we’re saying they’re bad for the environment (which they clearly are), why does paying an application and licensing fee reduce the damage caused?

Viewing 5 posts - 1 through 5 (of 5 total)


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