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.


  1. maeed zahir said,

    December 18, 2010 @ 11:57 pm

    This is a real serious issue … thanks for bringing this to our attention … Its high time that we establish proper oil disposal mechanisms and facilities in the country … also as mentioned in the post “Used engine oil is also a valuable resource that could be recycled. It can also be used to run some types of incinerators.” we need to develop ways to recycle used oil in Maldives.


  2. Haris said,

    December 21, 2010 @ 9:40 am

    Even though used oil is a resource that can we recycled, is there any way to recycle those resources in Maldives?

  3. Ali said,

    December 22, 2010 @ 1:48 pm

    No recycling facilities in the Maldives for used engine oil, but could be reused in the Maldives.

    Even though scraps, such as aluminum cans, copper metals are resources that can be recycled, and even though there is no way to recycle those resources in the Maldives, they are exported to India for recycling. Big time….

  4. watercare said,

    December 27, 2010 @ 11:05 am

    wonder what actions that our EPA is taking to protect groundwater from man-made pollution!

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