Bill to Stop Grease Thieves from Cashing In on New Gold Passes First Legislative Test

Patch file photo.
Patch file photo.

In the old days of the Wild West it was cattle rustling; today it’s used cooking oil that’s driving the black market.

“Kitchen grease theft has become big business. Thieves strike in the night, siphon off used grease from the backs of restaurants and sell it on the black market to renderers who turn it into liquid gold – biodiesel fuel,” explained Assemblymember Chris Holden (D-Pasadena). ‘This bill will help law enforcement sort out the legitimate companies from the thieves.” 

Assemblymember Holden’s bill (AB 1566) to combat the growing incidences of kitchen grease theft was overwhelmingly approved today in Assembly Transportation Committee. 

AB 1566 gives law enforcement the tools they need to stop modern-day oil rustlers by beefing up requirements for licensed haulers, increasing the penalties for stealing grease and allowing law enforcement to impound vehicles for up to 15 days. 

“Currently, law enforcement’s hands are tied when it comes to enforcement because grease theft is not included in the vehicle code.” said Holden.  “This bill closes that loophole.  Now that oil prices have skyrocketed, so have grease thefts.  Obviously they’re stealing the grease because it’s worth a lot.”

According to the California Department of Food and Agriculture, a typical fast-food restaurant produces 150-250 pounds of grease a week and a fully loaded pumper truck could bring in as much as $900 at a recycling center. 

AB 1566 now goes to Assembly Agriculture for consideration.

—Office of Assemblyman Chris Holden (D-Pasadena)

david heimark March 24, 2014 at 11:53 PM
better they swipe it for biofuel than siphon that crap outta the sewers as done in china to clarify and use to fry your next snack. holden is really tackling the important issues facing his constituency, isn't he?
david heimark March 24, 2014 at 11:55 PM
time til post is deleted......10, 9, 8, 7.....
Jesus H. Christ March 25, 2014 at 01:48 PM
Reminds me how the Waste Management companies lobbied local government to penalize the homeless for taking recyclables from the curb trash receptacles. They threatened to fine my mother for putting her trash cans at the curb too early, allowing those in need to pilfer through the recyclables for a few dollars so that they could eat! Who's the ones in real need of those recycling dollars? The grease used to be discarded as garbage, until it became a commodity and valuable to a corporation... Holden knows whose interest is more important.
Tim March 25, 2014 at 02:17 PM
Do some research wvo is a commodity the directly affect food cost
Mitchell Miller March 28, 2014 at 03:11 PM
Okay come on now Tim, the class needs a little more than that to get the A. How does it "directly affect food cost"? Seems to me there is a point when McDonalds french fry grease becomes useless & throwawayable. Who cares if people want to use it to fuel their cars? They are some of the most environmentally friendly "thieves" I've ever heard of


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