The NZ Oil Recovery Scheme: 7 Years After

Recycling vehicle oil in New ZealandSeven years ago, the Ministry for the Environment (MFE) launched an oil recovery scheme named ‘Recovering Oil Saves the Environment’ or R.O.S.E. NZ. The programme encourages businesses, especially commercial and industrial sectors, to recover and recycle their vehicle oil.

Oil recovery is not a new concept for New Zealand, some companies such as Waste Petroleum Combustion Ltd in the North Island, also known as, have been collecting waste oil since 1981.

The new scheme introduced by MFE wants to encourage more businesses to recycle their oil and reduce their impact on natural resources. It is a combined effort of both the government and the private sector to reduce its environmental impact.


The oil recovery programme became an accredited voluntary scheme on 28th June 2011. It covers the entirety of New Zealand, and encourages companies to voluntarily recycle their used oil. Companies that join the scheme have free oil collections at designated points across the country. Those who want to participate have to store the oil in a leak proof container and leave it at one of the designated points.

Reusing and recycling oil is pretty straightforward, once the impurities are filtered, the oil can be used again. R.O.S.E. NZ will then distribute the recycled oil as a form of alternative fuel to diesel and gas.

A Success

Since the launch, the scheme has collected over 2.1 million litres of oil per year. More companies are choosing to use recycled oil as an alternative to other types of fuel. It is especially popular for use in industrial heating applications; waste oil is a cheaper alternative to regular fuel sources and works well for use in boilers and kilns.

Industries benefiting from recycled oil include horticulture, floriculture, bitumen plants, dry-cleaning, meat processing and many others.

Reusing oil minimises the need for more oil exploration and is better for the environment. The oil recovery programme of New Zealand will continue working towards a more sustainable future.