Theft of kitchen grease to be made into biodiesel has been a growing problem, as entrepreneurs and home brewers have caught on to the low-cost way to make the fuel. In California, according to the Crown City News, a measure to crack down on stealing what used to be just thrown out is advancing in the state legislature, passing by unanimous vote in the Assembly and now heading to the state Senate.
“Restaurants are finding that their used kitchen grease is a hot commodity that has sparked grease wars in a battle over who can cash in on the ‘liquid gold’ that is then converted into biodiesel fuel,” explained [bill sponsor Chris Holden (D-Pasadena)]. “This bill closes a loophole in enforcement code that will make it easier to stop the bad players.”
According to the California Department of Food and Agriculture, a typical fast-food restaurant produces 150-250 pounds of grease a week and a fully loaded pumper truck could bring in as much as $900 at a recycling center. Thieves often strike in the night and syphon off the used grease and sell it on the black market.
The bill, AB 1566, beefs up requirements for licensed haulers, increases penalties for stealing grease and allows law enforcement to impound vehicles for up to 15 days.