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U.S. Foodservice Acquires Waste Vegetable Oil Processing Company for Fuel

U.S. Foodservice has bought a company that will provide a supply of B20 biodiesel made from used vegetable oil from fryers.

The foodservice distributor bought WVO Industries of Bluffton, S.C. WVO collects and removes water, food particles and other impurities from waste vegetable oil, then ships the bio feedstock to a processing company that produces an 80/20 diesel/biodiesel blend known as B20 that will be used to fuel hundreds of food delivery trucks at the U.S. Foodservice-Columbia Division in Lexington, S.C. The use of biodiesel made from cooking oil reduces lifecycle carbon emissions by 80 percent over carbon-based diesel, according to the Environmental Protection Agency.

U.S. Foodservice has been the exclusive collection agent for WVO since 2009, providing it with waste cooking oil from restaurant deep fryers. The waste vegetable oil is collected in specially designed, sealed cans that are convenient for restaurant use. The oil collection trucks are separate and distinct from U.S. Foodservice food delivery trucks to ensure the absolute quality and safety of food transported to customers. Outbound food never comes in contact with inbound waste vegetable oil.

U.S. Foodservice-Columbia will relocate the WVO assets to a new tipping station at the Lexington distribution center to store waste oil for processing and blending into biofuel. The tipping station will be operational by late 2011 and will be able to convert 5 million pounds of waste oil into 400,000 gallons of bio feedstock each year. The division plans to use approximately 200,000 gallons of converted waste vegetable oil for biodiesel annually, which would allow the remaining gallons to be made available elsewhere in the company or as a supply source for outside companies.

A member of the Kohlberg Kravis Roberts Co Green Portfolio Program, U.S. Foodservice has improved its sustainability profile since 2007. By improving fleet efficiency by 5 percent and increasing distribution center energy efficiency by 15 percent between 2007 and 2009, U.S. Foodservice avoided 101,000 metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions, the equivalent of taking more than 8,000 cars off of the road and taking more than 8,600 homes off the electrical grid.

For more information, read the January profile of U.S. Foodservice.

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