Waste oils

Waste oils include all mineral or synthetic lubricating and industrial oils, which have become unusable for their original purpose (e.g. transmission oils, machine oils, hydraulic oils). They are considered hazardous waste.

Used oil can be reused after special processing.

Waste oils must be sent for regeneration or another recycling process that leads to an equivalent or better result for environmental protection than regeneration if

  • it is technically possible to produce a base oil from the waste oil and
  • this is economically reasonable for the waste holder, taking into account the respective quantities produced, the transport routes and the costs incurred.

If waste oils are recycled, the resulting mineral oil products must not contain more than 5 ppm PCB/PCT and no more than 0.03 per cent halogens by mass.

Waste oils with a PCB/PCT content of up to 50 ppm that cannot be recycled must be thermally recovered.

Waste oils containing more than 50 ppm PCB/PCT must be disposed of in an environmentally sound manner.

The admixture of substances that are not naturally contained in the pre-product of the waste oil is not permitted. In the case of recycling, however, the additives required for technological reasons may be added.

The admixture of halogens, PCBs or PCTs and other hazardous wastes is not permitted.

Whoever collects waste oils must draw and analyse a sample to document the quality of the waste oils and, if he is not authorised to treat waste oils, make it available to the waste handler. The samples must be kept for one year, the analysis results for seven years and submitted to the authorities on request.


In general, these rules also apply for traders from EU Member States that have their registered office in Austria.

Further links

edm.gv.at ( BMK)German text
(including a search for registered waste collectors and processors, as well as locations)

Legal basis

section 16 paragraph 3 of the Abfallwirtschaftsgesetz (AWG)

Translated by the European Commission
Last update: 18 March 2024

Responsible for the content: Federal Ministry for Climate Action, Environment, Energy, Mobility, Innovation and Technology

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