John Davis

Recently, I told you about how New York loves biodiesel, using the green fuel to run many of the city’s parks and recreation department vehicles and heat the agency’s buildings. One company that’s helping parks and rec keep their buildings warm with biodiesel is Brooklyn-based METRO Fuel Oil Corp.

“Our initiative is to help New York become a cleaner, greener city,” says Jason Abrams, a marketing communications specialist with METRO. He says besides the city’s parks and rec department, they provide the biofuels, biodiesel and bioheat in fleets, buildings and homes.

Abrams points out that diesel fuel burners don’t need any kind of conversion to run biodiesel. In fact, it can even help a motor or boiler run better, and of course, cleaner … even to the point of actually cleaning a burner.

“I remember one [superintendent] I was talking to telling me that he could actually see the metal, where before he was using such dirty oil, he could just see the black of crude oil.”

METRO has been around since 1942, using petroleum to replace the even dirtier fuel, coal. He sees the company continuing the tradition of finding a better, cleaner burning fuel by now distributing biodiesel. Right now, they get that biodiesel through a pipeline from the Midwest. But soon, they’ll have their own refinery scheduled to open in 2011 that will use a variety of feedstocks, including soy oil, canola oil and even waste grease. And even the grease collection will be something that gives back to the community. They’ve teamed up with The Doe Fund, Inc., operator of New York City’s largest socially-conscious collector of used cooking oil, to get waste grease picked up and delivered to METRO’s soon-to-be-completed refinery.

“[Doe] employs formerly homeless people to pick up the grease from restaurants across the city,” giving needed jobs to those who desperately need them.

Abrams says when they go to trade shows they give out green apples to reinforce their message of “Greening the Big Apple.”

Listen to more of my conversation with Jason in the player below.

Jason Abrams METRO interview