The Plymouth Township Police Department is investigating the theft of fry grease from UNO Pizzeria & Grill in Conshohocken (Plymouth Township). According to Buffalo Biodiesel, which collects used fry grease from restaurants, the Chicago-style pizza restaurant was hit by thieves on March 16th.
Is this a big problem? According to a recent article in TheTakeout.com, it is a huge problem that has led to the loss of tens of millions of dollars for the companies that collect the used oil. From the article:
This isn’t a new crime; it last hit its peak in 2017. Back then, Food & Wine reported that around $75 million worth of used grease was stolen annually. Why? Because that oil can be repurposed as biodiesel. In fact, 1.4 billion pounds of used cooking oil was turned into alternative fuel in 2016.
There are legitimate companies, like Buffalo Biodiesel, that restaurants create contracts with to come pick up their old grease as an efficient way to reuse the waste. But as gas prices rise, more cooking grease is getting snatched before the companies arrive to collect it.
We asked a local restaurant owner in Conshohocken if this has been an issue at his restaurant. He shared that it has happened at his restaurant a few times over the past few years.