Grease Still Hot Item in Biodiesel Feedstock Thefts

scalesofjustice1We’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.

Comments are closed.