Put your hands in the air and gimme all your chip fat!

Posted by Laura Grant on July 14, 2008
Posted in Transport

Rising oil prices have had a profound effect on the world, but one of the weirdest stories I read lately was in the New York Times about the rise in used cooking oil theft from fast-food outlets in the United States. In April a “bandit” was caught with 9,500 litres of cooking oil in his truck apparently stolen from the rubbish outside a number of restaurants in Northern California. One restaurant owner said he was thinking of installing a surveillance camera to watch over his used oil barrel because theft was becoming such a problem.

As strange as it seems, used cooking oil is traded on the commodities market and its value has reached historic highs because of high fuel prices. Known as yellow grease, its price has risen from 15 cents a kg in 2000 to more than 60 cents a litre last month. So, as the New York Times pointed out, the bandit’s 9,500 litre haul would have been worth $6,000. The used cooking oil is converted into biodiesel.

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