We’re still seeing stories pop up about how thieves are targeting the used grease from restaurants for biodiesel production. The latest story comes from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch where police broke up a mutli-state ring of stolen used grease and cooking oil from O’Fallon, Ill. and the surrounding area.
The suspects — Bo Lin, 32, of Fairview Heights; Tuo Li, 25, of Chicago; and Kentvy Wong, 30, of Flushing, N.Y. — were arrested overnight July 16 at a barn here in the 900 block of Talon Drive. The building, police said, contained about 10,000 gallons of filched grease.
[Police detective Lt. Robert] Schmidtke said the suspects had been selling it to rendering and biodiesel plants.
He said estimating the value of the grease was difficult, but that it easily exceeded $10,000. The National Renderers Association has estimated that grease sells nationally for about $3 a gallon.
Grease thefts have increased since biofuels were introduced to a market once dominated by animal feed and soap industries.
Police say most restaurants might not even report grease thefts, because they don’t realize the value of the commodity being stolen. I guess that’s understandable when you figure it wasn’t that many years ago when before biodiesel became so popular that restaurants paid a price (and many still do) to have it hauled away.