Green Energy Biofuel adds landfill-free recycling, cleaning services for industrial customers
Green Energy Biofuel, the one-stop-shop for all organic recycling needs big and small, continues to grow. The South Carolina-based company began more than a decade ago as a local grease collector and biodiesel producer, but since then GEB has evolved into a valuable provider of numerous recycling services to some of the nation’s largest industrial food and agribusiness factories. Its service area spans from the Great Lakes to the Deep South, and from the Carolina coast to the Mississippi River.
GEB’s expansion into new services is spurring this growth, which is supported by additional personnel, fleet vehicles and account generation. Once focused on used cooking oil (UCO) collection from local establishments and small-scale biodiesel production, GEB can process 200,000 gallons of liquid waste material per day at its expanded and retooled processing complex in Aiken, South Carolina. In addition to recycling various greases, GEB’s facility recently received a much-desired wastewater permit.
“By the end of April, we’ll be going full bore on processing wastewater for ourselves, and for other companies,” said BioJoe Renwick, GEB co-founder and owner.
In addition, GEB recently bought a compost facility, ReSoil, in order to provide its industrial-scale clients landfill-free disposal options geared toward today’s stringent environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) criteria.
The company has hired a 16-year veteran from the pressure-washing and hydro-cleaning profession, Freddie Reynders, opening up a host of new services GEB now offers its clients. Reynders also heads up GEB’s service division, providing much-needed leadership and experience.
With this added feature, GEB is now able to professionally service hoods, or ventilation systems for food-frying businesses of all sizes—from restaurants to industrial-scale food processing facilities. The company also provides line-jetting of clogged drains in restaurants, whether kitchen sinks or floor drains. In addition, when performing oil recovery from grease traps, GEB can pressure wash those traps and recover every ounce of recyclable material.
“One new, popular service we offer is tank cleaning,” Renwick said. “We go inside people’s tanks, pressure wash and clean them, and remove the waste inside. Then we bring back that waste we recovered from their tanks to our Aiken plant, where we process and refine it. We give the customer a rebate for every pound of grease we recover from their tanks. This gives them a reduced rate for cleaning and disposal, and we get waste we can purify and sell.”
These tanks aren’t small, either. Some are hundreds of thousands of gallons in size. “We’re able to provide services at rates far better than our competitors because we’re 100 percent vertically integrated,” Renwick said. “We can clean tanks and take waste for a lower price than anyone else can.”
To exemplify GEB’s rapid growth, the company has added more than 200 new service accounts in the first quarter of 2021. It has also hired four new people, bringing the number of green, sustainable jobs created by GEB to 24 strong.
“We’re on fire with sales and service, and generating new accounts,” Renwick said. “This includes UCO collections as well as industrial-scale waste processors.”
In South Carolina alone, GEB has signed on eight new counties, creating recycling programs for UCO where none existed before. GEB provides a drop-off container to a centralized location where residents can bring their UCO for recycling.
“We’ve hired specialists in various fields, a full staff dedicated to industrial sales, school and municipal sales, restaurant sales, and southeastern account sales,” Renwick said.
New services, new accounts and additional personnel mean GEB must also expand its fleet of service trucks to accommodate new business.
“This fast-paced growth requires additional fleet vehicles, such as another 2,500-gallon Kenworth vacuum truck, an Isuzu custom pressure-washing truck to provide drain-line cleaning, steam-surface cleaning, and disinfecting services,” Renwick said.
Most recently, GEB bought another Isuzu 18-foot stake-body truck with a lift gate, dedicated to setting up 20 new accounts per day. The company is utilizing grant funding from the U.S. EPA’s Diesel Emissions Reduction Act through the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control to replace old, dirty, inefficient vehicles with cleaner, newer, more efficient ones. In total, GEB owns or operates a fleet of 14 tankers and tractor trucks, five vacuum trucks, four service trucks and eight railcars. It operates out of four locations with a reach virtually anywhere east of the Mississippi River and south of the Great Lakes.
A company like GEB doesn’t need millions of dollars to grow sustainably, acquire large customers and be a success. “If you set big goals and work hard to achieve them, and treat your customers honestly, fairly and with respect, anyone can do this,” Renwick said. “We are living proof.”