Veggie Oil Theft on CBC

Here's an interesting podcast from CBC on 2008-05-08.

Description from CBC.ca:

Grease Bandits: Contractor

Grease is the word, as they say. For greasers in the movie and musical Grease that word meant slick hair goo and a whole way of life, but grease has become a coveted fuel source. So much so, there's a black market for grease.

This raw grease can be refined into yellow grease, which can be used to make biofuel, and as the world's appetite for biofuel increases, so goes the demand for grease.

Restaurants, with their bubbling deep fryers, have always had lots of grease to dispose of, and sometimes companies pick it up for them. But increasingly, grease collectors complain that thieves are pilfering restaurant grease.

Our producer Michael O'Halloran visited a restaurant in Calgary to see what they do with their grease.

You might say that yellow grease is a new black gold, a hot commodity whose price has tripled. And with that rapid rise in value, grease banditry is rampant in some U.S. states. That bothers people like Christopher Griffin, director of legal affairs for Griffin Industries, a company that's been collecting restaurant grease since 1943. He joined us from Cold Spring, Kentucky.

Grease Bandits - Lawyer

Some might say that catching one of these thieves is like catching greased lightning, but others argue that these cases aren't really theft at all.

Jon Jaworski is an attorney in Texas who has represented dozens of clients accused of stealing the often stinky stuff. His work has earned him a reputation as the "grease lawyer," and we reached him at his office in Houston.

Grease Bandits - Canada

Grease theft may be a growing problem in the U.S., but for some perspective on the situation in Canada, we were joined in Toronto by Stu Porter, the biodiesel technical advisor to the Canadian Renewable Fuels Association.