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Burning Used Oil OptionsSubmitted: 01/17/2013

Ben Meyer
Managing Editor / Senior Reporter
bmeyer@wjfw.com

RHINELANDER - If you take your car in to get an oil change, you might not think twice about what happens to that used oil.

But many businesses actually burn that oil in a space heater.

It's often an easy way to save on heating costs.

"In especially or even medium-sized repair shops where they want to save money on fuel, and they have access to used oil, it's just easier to put it in a space heater and burn it," says Ann Coakley, the DNR Waste & Materials Management Director.

But there are environmental rules to keep in mind, as well.

If the used oil is produced on site - for example, taken from cars at an oil change shop - it's covered under an exemption to use at any time.

That also goes if homeowners bring in their own used oil.

But the rules change if the oil comes from somewhere else.

"It needs to be tested for arsenic, cadmium, chromium, lead, total halogens, to make sure that it's on spec for burning. If it is, in that case, it can be sold, and anyone can use it in a space heater," says Coakley.

If you don't burn used oil, remember that it's banned from landfills.

Instead, used oil is easily recycled.

The Oneida County Solid Waste Department is one place that accepts oil for recycling.

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