"If there’s a world here in a hundred years, it’s going to be saved by tens of millions of little things. The powers-that-be can break up any big thing they want. They can corrupt it or co-opt it from the inside, or they can attack it from the outside. But what are they going to do about 10 million little things? They break up two of them, and three more like them spring up!"
- Pete Seeger, in YES! Magazine

Friday, October 16, 2009

Recycling Used Motor Oil

The project:
Recycle oil after shade tree maintenance to our cars.

10 minutes to properly dispose of the oil via our local auto parts store.

Why bother?
After too many run ins with the local auto dealer, we've opted to do the easy stuff at home and save not only cash, but provide ourselves some peace of mind. It's easy, less expensive (than the dealer, by a far cry), and provides some life lessons for our homeschooling family.

Among the biggest problems with shade tree mechanics is improper disposal of auto fluids, but it doesn't have to be. Collect the oil, then drive it down to the auto parts store where your purchased your new parts, filters and oil. They should accept it, free of charge, and dispose of it properly.

Used motor oil can be refined and used as base for lubricating oil, among other things, according to the American Petroleum Institute. You can also recycle your oil filters, which are made of paper, metal and plastic, all of which are recyclable. To find your local oil FILTER recycler, click here. For your local OIL recycler, click here.

Worth it?
Absolutely. Saved about $200 by doing it ourselves (over dealer shop). KNOW the filters have been changed, the oil is changed, parts checked and we're ready to roll. And the used up, black old oil is in the most appropriate tank, ready for reuse.

Photo courtesy Luis Cerezo under Creative Commons license.

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