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(Kitchen) Grease is the Word

Jun 30, 2011 04:48PM ● Published by Anonymous

This past session we partnered with our colleague Chris DiPietro to advocate for a new law aimed to disrupt the theft of kitchen grease. Yes, people are stealing kitchen grease – from restaurants – and such theft has steadily been on the rise. I quickly got a crash course on kitchen grease – from how people convert it into fuel for car engines or break it down into meals for livestock and poultry, to how restaurants used to pay to have the wasted kitchen grease removed. Now recycling companies are paying to come get it. Kitchen grease has become a HOT commodity – and in these economic times some are going to any lengths to grease their own hands with it. Whether it’s employees stealing on the side or fly by night operators, gallons and gallons of grease are literally sucked out of restaurant containers and resold to the highest bidder.

At the same time, the theft of kitchen grease in Maryland creates additional health and environmental hazards. The processing of waste kitchen grease is risky, with the possibility of spills during transportation or amateur operators mishandling the grease and letting it enter our sewers and waterways. There is also the danger of amateur biofuels producers injuring or killing people through accidental grease fires and explosions. That is why it was critical for this now million dollar business to finally have some oversight.

Working with state officials in the health, environmental, agricultural and law enforcement fields, Senate Bill 607 and House Bill 881 were introduced to create new accountability for this new commodity. The new law, which was successfully passed in April, creates an annual registration requirement for transporting kitchen grease, with the Department of Agriculture, which then helps law enforcement to “stop and smell the kitchen grease” and question the legitimacy of the transport.

Let’s hope the grease bandits think twice now before getting their hands caught in the new grease traps called the law.

Resources

Text of SB 607 Approved by Governor

Barbara Marx Brocato & Associates

CDI Consulting Services

Community md policy & politics
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