Santa Cruz Making Fryer to Fuel Biodiesel

John Davis

santacruzThe city of Santa Cruz, California has teamed up with several partners to make biodiesel.

This article from Biodiesel Magazine says the U.S. EPA, the Santa Cruz Metropolitan Transportation District, biodiesel producer Energy Alternative Solutions Inc., the California Restaurant Association, waste oil collector Salinas Tallow Co. and the city of Santa Cruz are making locally sustainable biodiesel:

The Ecology Action “Fryer to Fuel” program in Santa Cruz has already diverted 60,000 gallons of waste cooking oil grease from landfills, according to the Olof Hansen, U.S. EPA Region 9 representative.

Fryer to Fuel is similar to the SFGreasecycle program currently implemented by the city of San Francisco, but on a much smaller scale. In San Francisco, more than 10 liquid waste haulers collect grease from about 500 restaurants. In Santa Cruz, three licensed haulers collect grease from approximately 30 restaurants.

Hansen said Salinas Tallow agreed to make the 184 gallon containers for all of the participating program customers, at the company’s cost. “This was a significant contribution to the program, as each bin cost approximately $600,” he said.

After collected the grease from restaurants and food service businesses, it’s transported to the collector’s central location. The collector delivers the cleaned grease to biodiesel producer Energy Alternative Solutions for conversion into fuel. Energy Alternative Solutions then transports the finished product to the fleet operators at their desired locations.

The article goes on to point out that the city not only gets the environmental benefits of clean-burning biodiesel produced in a sustainable way, but the program also keeps all the sewer-clogging grease out of the city’s system.