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Allied Waste trucks convert to biodiesel fuel

Original post made on Sep 23, 2007

Menlo Park's environmental programs coordinator Diane Dryer and Evan Boyd, general manager of Allied Waste in San Mateo County, were on hand to celebrate the rollout of the waste company's first 12 biodiesel-powered garbage trucks. Almanac photo by Marion Softky.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Sunday, September 23, 2007, 7:12 PM

Comments (6)

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Posted by Annelise Connell
a resident of Portola Valley: Woodside Highlands
on Sep 23, 2007 at 9:21 pm

Where is Allied Waste getting its bio-fuel and how is it guaranteeing that it is not from plantations that are being hacked out of rain forests destroying pristine wilderness areas? The worldwide eco-devastation just so Californians' can use more fuel ... What is the bio-fuel lifecycle and who is responsible for testing it from her on ?

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Posted by Confused
a resident of Menlo Park: University Heights
on Sep 24, 2007 at 3:26 pm

Annelise, The article says the bio-fuel is cooking oil. Not sure where Allied Waste is getting it, but I'm confused by your concern that it might be from plantations hacked out of rain forests. Could you clarify?

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Posted by Annelise Connell
a resident of Portola Valley: Woodside Highlands
on Sep 25, 2007 at 12:10 am

Allied Waste is getting their biofuel from and their website states that it is "made from locally grown crops and recycled cooking oil collected by local renderers". Well and good. Terrific in fact.

But who is checking? and what will happen in the future if they have more orders than they can fulfill and have to source it somewhere? Where will they turn? Right now Palm Oil is a very popular biofuel, and the Indonesian rainforests are being destroyed and planted for this explosion in worldwide biofuel demand to solve the problem air pollution by the Transport industry.

Let me quote scientifically sound Environmental groups: "Biofuel producers must meet minimum greenhouse gas and sustainability standards, with environmental audits of the whole life-cycle of the fuels, from growing the crop to transporting it to the pump."

That said, if you are connected with any restaurant or cafeteria anywhere, make sure the waste oil is going to a company like Bioeasi to be processed and resold, and not just dumped into the Bay or into a landfill.

More info at Web Link

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Posted by Confused
a resident of Menlo Park: University Heights
on Sep 25, 2007 at 7:35 am

Apparently I was not only confused, I was ignorant too. I had no idea of the rainforest destruction linked to biofuel. Thanks for helping to get the word out.

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Posted by Richard Hine
editor of The Almanac
on Sep 26, 2007 at 6:59 pm

Richard Hine is a registered user.

Marion Softky, who wrote the Almanac story, forwards this Sept. 26 e-mail from Evan Boyd <> of Allied Waste:
"I know the story in the Almanac generated some comments and questions about biodiesel. I asked our biodiesel supplier, Energy Alternative Solutions, Inc., to comment, and he wrote the following:
'The biodiesel fueling Allied Waste's trucks is made from waste cooking oil collected from San Francisco Bay Area and Monterey Bay area restaurants. Energy Alternative Solutions, Inc., the producer of the biodiesel, is committed to sustainable, community-based production and will be building more plants around California to keep pace with the growing demand for biodiesel. EASI's vision is to create community-based operations in which each community utilizes its own renewable resources, --such as recycled cooking oil and locally grown oilseed crops -- to produce its own energy and reduce dependency on petroleum fuels.
-- Richard Gillis, CEO, Energy Alternative Solutions Inc. ( ( Web Link )

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Posted by Annelise Connell
a resident of Portola Valley: Woodside Highlands
on Sep 26, 2007 at 9:53 pm

1. Could the Almanac do a followup story on how local restaurants and cafeterias can make sure their grease waste is actually getting to a company like EASI - and back into our local trucks?

2. EASI's website states that it originally sourced its biodiesel from an un-named supplier in Texas. Where does it report what is the real percentages for its "fuel mix" for the current fiscal quarter (or fiscal year) (local cooking oil waste, vs. "locally grown oil-seed crops" - vs. unnamed Texas source) - and how much it imported from "unnamed" sources to meet orders? That is the point of my comment.

We also need to make sure that good food-growing land is not diverted into biofuel for diesel trucks instead. We must be responsible consumers and audit the full lifcycle and not just assume the system is working properly because it now has a "green" label on the truck.

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