Running on used veggie oil used to be a great idea.
We all knew it was coming... but who knew it would come so fast?
You may know that The Vanishing America Project's motor coach (BABS) and Land Rover (the Greasy Beast) have been converted to run on used vegetable oil as well as diesel and biodiesel. The used oil not only burns cleaner but it saves me a fortune in fuel costs.
However, as time goes by, used veggie oil is becoming harder and harder to find for a guy like me. It's not that it isn't out there, it's just not being given away like it used to be.
There was a time when a restaurant's used vegetable oil was considered waste. Restaurants had to pay companies to come pick it up and dispose of it properly (and some of the smaller eateries just dumped it in the trash or in the woods).
As the process to convert used veggie oil into useful products became more efficient, and less expensive, the more agressive recyclers and renderers (the companies who process the oil) began to offer to drop the fee and pick it up for free. Heck, it was like found money to them.
As the uses for oil increased (biodiesel, animal feed, cosmetics), the demand for oil went up, and new companies sprung up all over the country in an attempt to capitalize on this new market.
Now, used vegetable oil is a commodity that nobody ever expected to see. Now, renderers and recyclers are actually paying restaurants for their used oil. That's right! They're now paying for what was once considered trash.
And, can you believe that this all took place in less than 5 years?!
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