Waste Strategy 2007 recognises that recovered fuel oil (RFO), which is part-processed waste oil, may be used as a fuel substitute, and the energy in the RFO recovered. There are a number of operators undertaking this activity, the commercial viability of which is affected by a number of factors, including the price of fuel oil. Under the revised waste framework directive the recovery of energy from waste is placed fourth in the waste hierarchy, which shall apply as a priority order, and is above waste disposal which includes incineration without energy recovery. The regeneration of waste oil into base oil by re-refining is classed as recycling and is placed third in the waste hierarchy.
The correct disposal of hazardous waste, including waste oil, is a legal requirement and there are controls in place to prevent illegal dumping. The Environment Agency gathers information on oil-related incidents. From its records, there appears to be no increase in the oil-related incidents that it deals with regarding illegal disposal. Similarly, data collected under the Flycapture scheme from local authorities on the number of fly tips cleared by the local authority show no increase in the amount of such waste being fly tipped between 2007 and 2008.
Information on the transfrontier shipment of waste oils from England and Wales is collected by the Environment Agency. This information shows that in 2008, the latest year for which data are available, 9,298 tonnes of waste oils were exported from England and Wales for recovery. This included a proportion of waste oil for energy recovery in the EU.