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Carolina Recycling Association honors Green Energy Biofuel, ReSoil Compost with major award

Updated: Apr 25, 2022

From left, Nan Kirlin, recycling coordinator at Gaston County EDC, BioJoe Renwick, Green Energy Biofuel co-owner and recipient of the CRA’s 2022 Annual Recycling Award, and Emily Ball, assistant solid waste director at Alamance County Government

South Carolina-based recycling firms Green Energy Biofuel and ReSoil Compost were recognized for their significant contributions to the environment and regional economy by the Carolina Recycling Association in late March at the organization’s annual conference in Myrtle Beach. Each year, the CRA honors top performers that advance waste reduction and recycling in the Carolinas. The award categories were consolidated into a general pool and a panel of judges selected the most outstanding nominees to recognize. Green Energy Biofuel and ReSoil Compost were the only private businesses this year throughout all North and South Carolina to receive CRA’s 2022 Annual Recycling Award.

Under the leadership of co-founder and co-owner BioJoe Renwick, Green Energy Biofuel acquired ReSoil Compost—an industrial-scale composting facility in Elgin, South Carolina—early last year and vertically integrated the two businesses to upcycle a growing variety of liquid and solid organic wastes.

Although Renwick and Green Energy Biofuel have been recycling used cooking oil into biodiesel in Winnsboro, South Carolina, since 2008, the company’s growth over the past few years, as well as its acquisition of ReSoil Compost, have significantly enhanced what Renwick and his team can do for large-scale food processors and other waste generators.

“A massive congratulations to BioJoe, Green Energy Biofuel and ReSoil Compost for receiving this award,” said Sarah Lauren Crump, CRA communications coordinator.

Green Energy Biofuel now operates four grease-recycling centers in Winnsboro, South Carolina; Knoxville, Tennessee; Aiken, South Carolina; and its newest location in Raleigh, North Carolina. Green Energy Biofuel collects used cooking oil from more than 2,000 restaurants and industry partners across the Southeast as well as from 70 percent of the recycling centers around South Carolina. An expanding fleet of tanker, container and vacuum trucks, along with a growing number of railcars, allow Green Energy Biofuel and ReSoil Compost—with Renwick at the helm—to logistically carry out their mission of reducing and recycling waste.

The Aiken plant is Green Energy Biofuel’s largest and most advanced grease-recycling facility. A game-changing development for Green Energy Biofuel and its customers was gaining a permit to treat wastewater at the Aiken site.

Wastewater is among the costliest waste streams to dispose of due to its high level of nutrients, carbon, suspended solids, and nitrogenous organics and inorganics, as well as the varying amounts each batch contains. By recovering these materials in-house, Green Energy Biofuel recycles them into feedstock for liquid renewable fuels such as biodiesel, renewable diesel and sustainable aviation fuel. Any remaining organics, wastewater and sludge are processed at ReSoil Compost and converted into soil amendments for gardening or farming. Most importantly, Green Energy Biofuel’s vertical integration of organic-waste processing through the incorporation of ReSoil Compost’s industrial capabilities means less waste taking up space in landfills and reducing the environmental footprint of its customers. This is achieved by eliminating the need to transport wastewater to disposal sites in tanker trucks. These synergies help Green Energy Biofuel customers, no matter how large, run zero-landfill operations.

ReSoil Compost is a valuable asset to Green Energy Biofuel and its customers by taking burdensome waste in the front door and selling value-added products out the back. The facility accepts a range of organics from yard waste to truckloads of food scraps from regional haulers, Columbia-area restaurants, schools, hospitals and municipalities. The enriched soil amendment produced by ReSoil Compost is certified by the U.S. Composting Council’s Seal of Testing Assurance—meaning it is tested regularly and free of select pathogens and metals—and is ideal for use in gardens and on farms.

Below is just a sampling of the many recent accomplishments Renwick and his valued team at Green Energy Biofuel and ReSoil Compost achieved last year alone, which helped them win the CRA’s coveted annual award:

  • Recycling more than 20 million pounds of grease sold as feedstock for renewable fuels production

  • Increasing used cooking oil collection volume by 27 percent

  • Converting more than 7.5 million pounds of food waste into compost at ReSoil Compost

  • Growing ReSoil Compost’s customer base by 20 percent with 293 new accounts

  • Hiring new employees and growing staff by more than 75 percent

  • Increasing revenue by 51 percent

  • Implementing full automation at the Aiken grease-recycling plant to further ensure employee safety and quality control

  • Building out a fleet of tankers, roll-off containers, and service and collection trucks

  • Supporting biodiesel-education programs, such as the recently opened Bengal Biodiesel Lab at Blythewood High School north of Columbia, South Carolina

  • Purchasing and installing depackaging machinery—a sophisticated piece of equipment rare to the East Coast—to increase recycling options for customers and further their zero-landfill mission by accepting bulk volumes of prepackaged organics such as expired food, produce, condiments and much more

Renwick was nominated for the award by his staff, and even though CRA named him as the recipient, Renwick insists his team deserves it, not him alone. “The award is for the companies—my team—not for me,” Renwick said. “It was very moving and a big deal to me. We’ve been a member of the Carolina Recycling Association for years now. For us and what we do, it’s the best organization we’ve been a part of.”

On the last day of the event, Renwick spoke on a panel in a conference hall with standing room only. “It was humbling to have such interest from so many people who are true recyclers and want to be green, and who are making a difference at the county level in North Carolina and South Carolina,” Renwick said. “The Carolina Recycling Association is an amazing group of wholesome, good people who truly are all about recycling and making an impact—not greenwashing.”



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