I don’t know if other biodiesel plants are seeing the same kinds of things we are, but we are seeing a flood of “new” WVO suppliers getting into the market in our region. This should be a good thing, except they all believe they are going to get rich quick and think they are sitting on a pot of gold. Many want money upfront, will ask for premium prices, and they usually have crap oil. If you’re running a biodiesel plant, don’t buy from these companies on these terms.
Want to sell us waste vegetable oil? Great! Here are our terms –
- We will be a regular customer and pay you via check or wire transfer upon verified weights and product specifications. We do short and long term contracts, and buy spot loads as well. We will never bid on loads or “pay upwards” to guarantee a load. If you like to shop loads, don’t bother calling us.
- We typically pay on Net 3 or Net 5 terms. (That’s much faster than we get paid for biodiesel, by the way.)
- We will buy from you whenever you have oil available, and will pay a reasonable price per gallon for good quality oil. Have crappy oil? Clean it up or find another customer. We don’t want it.
- Have a diesel truck? We will sell you biodiesel at a discount from our retail price (usually cheaper than diesel at the pump).
Recently we’ve had one oil collector from the coast coming all the way into Wilson to collect oil (in our own back yard). Indeed, this same collector has placed their bins right beside our own (which they then covered up) without even soliciting the restaurant to change accounts. This is the kind of thing that makes me actually want to support the NC House Bill 512 (H512-CSRF-15), which is a rendering bill to require all oil collectors in NC to become licensed & insured, and institutes more severe penalties for stealing grease. In general, I think HB512 is bad legislation and will hurt the biodiesel industry in North Carolina, but when the WVO market gets crazy like it is now, perhaps something should be done. To the legislators: Want to make a good law? How about one like the EU that bans the use of waste vegetable oil in the animal feed industry. It’s tantamount to cannibalism and is a potential source for such problems as Mad Cow Disease. That law, by itself, would free up a very large amount of feedstock for the biodiesel industry and bring prices down to more reasonable levels.
We buy a large amount of grease every week from a variety of sources, including local restaurants we pickup ourselves. All of this grease gets turned into biodiesel which we sell to various entities throughout the state. When we sell fuel, we always remember the golden rule: “He who has the gold, rules.”
We have one simple rule at TBI when buying products and services: Don’t buy from companies that forget you are the customer.