Burning Used Oil OptionsSubmitted: 01/17/2013

Ben Meyer
Executive Producer

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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ANTIGO - We often hear of big groups and organizations raising money for cancer.

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Dorothy Mifflin, 15, of Antigo is one of those faces. She crochets hats, scarfs and headbands and sells them, giving the money to local people suffering from cancer.

She then gives her money to local people with cancer.

When she was young, she found spare yarn around her house and taught herself how to crochet. Later she made hats for her entire fourth grade class. When more and more people wanted her hats, she decided to sell them.

And she made her business into a mini non-profit.

She sells her hats of all different shapes, sizes and designs for just a few bucks.

Here's the interesting part. Instead of keeping the money she makes, like many people her age probably would, this teen donates her money to local people with cancer.

"I get shy I guess, I just say I wanted to do this because I thought it would be really nice," Mifflin said.

Right now she buys the yarn or its donated to her. But her new project is to make her own yarn, and she has all the machines for it. A family friend donated the machines to Dorothy and another friend taught her how to use them, including how to spin. She also makes dryer balls with the wool she spins.

She gets some of that wool from her own sheep. Mifflin lives on a farm where her family has 23 sheep and plenty of other animals. Mifflin also shows her sheep at state fairs and most recently, the Wisconsin Sheep and Wool Festival.

"I've been showing sheep for a long time," Mifflin said. "I just love it. I love showing sheep."

Mifflin has a Facebook page for selling her hats, called "Funky Hats By Dorothy." See the link below. 

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