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DailyTidings.com
  • BIOFUEL BOOM

    Trash worth cash

    Restaurant owners guard their used oil, now a hot property targeted by thieves
  • Long the scourge of the restaurant business, old fryer oil is now a valuable commodity, and people will steal it.
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  • Long the scourge of the restaurant business, old fryer oil is now a valuable commodity, and people will steal it. The oil is used to make biodiesel and many go out of their way to acquire it.
    Reports from the New York Times, The Associated Press and National Public Radio have noted the theft rate increases as gas prices rise. The oil is traded as a commodity and the city of San Francisco now has a program in which it collects the oil and uses it to power city buses and fire trucks.
    Local businesses have taken precautions to protect their oil, which was once something they paid to have removed.
    "I remember those years of paying for removal," said Elks Club Chef Joshua Parliament. "Southern Oregon Tallow was the first to start paying for the oil, even though it was just nickels."
    Parliament said he had issues at other restaurants where the oil would get stolen, but the new company, Rogue Biofuel, has "pretty fool-proof containers."
    "Rogue is a good company, and I'd rather see them take the oil away," Parliament said. "They do the refining properly."
    Ron Roth of Geppetto's restaurant has lots of experience dealing with old restaurant oil and its theft. He is doing what many in Ashland are — giving the oil to a local who produces the fuel.
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