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Oil Tanks (Home Heating)

Oil Tanks (Home Heating)

Before starting to remove an old home heating oil tank, contact your local fire department to inquire about any permits and/or inspections required. Once emptied of all oil and oil residue, home heating oil tanks can and must be recycled as scrap metal. Be sure to cut a hole in the tank that is at least 12 inches square so the metal recycling facility staff can have a look inside to ensure the tank is empty. Go to Metal for a list of metal recycling facilities. You will need a permit from your local Fire Department to remove a buried oil tank. If the tank is unused or abandoned, any remaining heating oil should be removed by a qualified contractor and taken to an approved facility such as GFL Environmental for disposal.

Report a spill or home heating oil leak immediately: 
Emergency Management BC Emergency Response (24/7) 1-800-663-3456 
And your local non-emergency phone number of your local Fire Department 

Note: 2012 BC Fire Code, section 4.3.16 (1) says is that underground home heating oil tanks shall be removed, abandoned in place, disposed or temporary taken out of service in conformance with good engineering practices. Some local governments require full removal.

Reduce | Reuse | Recycle | Facilities

How do I go green?

Consider solar, electric or other more environmentally sound sources of heat.

Only use new oil, never attempt to reuse oil that has been in your old tank or another tank. Water, sludge and bacteria in old oil can cause corrosion and leak, even in a new tank. 

Do not re-use home heating oil tanks because the tank may be compromised. It might look good on the outside, but could be corroded on the inside. Do not reuse the tank for any other purpose. Extra oil must be disposed of as hazardous waste, do not pour this oil down the drain. The company you purchased oil from or that is removing the tank may take back any un-used oil. Hartland accepts small residential quantities of home heating oil as household hazardous waste.

Contact facilities listed directly regarding restrictions and charges.


  • A&P Disposal & Recycling

    6220 Marilyn

  • Brentwood Auto & Metal Recyclers

    7481 West Saanich Road

  • DL's Recycling Centre

    6844 Oldfield Rd

  • Ellice Recycle

    524 David Street

  • GFL Environmental (formerly Alpine, and Terrapure Environmental)

    1045 Dunford Avenue

  • Hartland Depot

    1 Hartland Avenue

  • Pender Island Recycling Depot

    4400 Otter Bay Road
    Pender Island

  • Radius Recycling (formerly Schnitzer)

    307 David Street

  • Salt Spring Garbage and Recycling

    360 Blackburn Road
    Salt Spring Island

  • The Environmental Story

    To avoid a leak on your property, it is a good idea to get your oil tank and any connecting pipes inspected regularly for any damage or deterioration. The District of Saanich has some excellent information on oil tanks at Fuel or Pollution Spills, and Home Heating Oil Tanks: what you should know.
    The Ministry of Environment also has some excellent information at Residential Heating Oil Storage Tanks . In case of a spill or leak, contain the spill as close to the source as possible, call the Provincial Emergency Program (P.E.P.) immediately at 1.800.663.3456 and contact your insurance company for clarification about your policy.  Do not flush oil down a house drain or municipal drain as this can have a devastating impact on the environment.

    Did You Know?

    Homeowners are potentially liable for any costs associated with spills or leaks. Insurance companies may not cover oil spills from home heating oil tanks; check with your insurance provider. Inspections cannot catch all possible problems, so be sure to safely remove any tanks you are not using and replace the in-use tanks at least every 14 years. Most insurance companies will not provide coverage for tanks older than 15 years.

    Thanks to the District of Saanich and the Ministry of Environment for much of this information.