Hand over the grease and nobody gets hurt.

Seems the ethanol bubble has created yet another unintended side effect: a black market for used restaurant oil. Most people who’ve worked in restaurants know that food operations generate a lot of waste oil and grease, especially if they have a fryer. My doughnut fryer produced more than a little every month, which I’d deposit in a recycle bin near the local minor-league ball park (for a fee). These days grease rustlers are stealing it. Why? Because with a little time and effort that oil can be made into a type of fuel that converted diesel engines can run on. Private alternative fuel enthusiasts have been distilling fuel from soybean oil to run their hobby cars for years, so much so that a market has developed for the stuff. Only now that the prices of soybeans are through the roof, it isn’t cost-effective anymore. Thus, thieves have taken to emptying waste oil drums in the middle of the night, refining the fuel and selling it. And to think I was selling doughnuts when my real product should have been the waste oil I got from frying the things. My whole business plan was backwards! Sigh. A day late and a dollar short once again.

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