Bluepeace has discovered used engine oil is being discharged into a ditch at the Waste Collection Center for Building Debris in Male’. This reckless discharge of waste oil into groundwater could worsen the already contaminated groundwater of Male’. The Waste Collection Center, managed by Male’ Municipality and located near the STELCO building, is an alarming hotspot for pollution in the capital city.
Even though groundwater is collected from boreholes ranging in depth from 50 to 60 meters in Male’ for desalination by Maldives Water and Sewerage Company (MWSC), risk of groundwater contamination by used engine oil is increasingly high.
Currently there are no proper disposal facilities to manage the used engine oil or black industrial oil in Male’. The only disposal facilities available are bins in Thilafushi for dumping waste. Another source of pollution is used engine oil in plastic containers dumped daily into Male’ lagoon from vessels.
Under the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution of the Sea by Oil, reception facilities for waste oil and oil separated from bilge water has to be provided. Such facilities do not currently exist and neither do facilities for oil disposal.
Used engine oil is also a valuable resource that could be recycled. It can also be used to run some types of incinerators.
Update. 26 December 2010. After Bluepeace published this blog post the ditch at the Waste Management Center was buried and empty oil barrels have been placed to dispose used engine oil. The barrels are taken to Thilafushi where a proper disposal mechanism for used engine oil is yet to be implemented.