Everpure Biodiesel Co-op begins selling fuel

By Erin Voegele | June 17, 2008
Web exclusive posted July 9, 2008 at 12:30 p.m. CST

Everpure Biodiesel Co-op in Erin Township, Ontario, began selling biodiesel to its members July 5. Within the next few years, the co-op will begin producing and selling biodiesel made exclusively from recycled food byproducts.

Through a self-sustaining food recycling loop, farmers who are members of the co-op, produce locally grown edible oil crops. Oil from the crops is used in local restaurants, and the distillers grain is used in livestock feed. Used oil is collected from the restaurants and manufactured into biodiesel, which can then be used to power vehicles for the farmers and other community members. Through this process drivers are given a cleaner, renewable and locally produced alternative to petroleum-based fuel.

The idea for the co-op was born in 2005 when Jay Mowatt, a local farmer and board member of the Everdale Environmental Learning Center, started looking into alternative fuels. Everdale, a non-profit organic farm and learning center in Hillsburgh, Ontario, wanted an option that would be financially and environmentally beneficial to farmers and the local community. It was decided that a locally-based biodiesel co-op would be the best way to reduce petroleum consumption, promote the local economy and benefit the local farming community.

The process used by the co-op supports the protection of and continued use of local arable farmland. It also promotes a viable, sustainable economic biofuel model, brings together conventional and organic farmers, and gives local farmers the opportunity to be involved in a cooperative endeavor with their neighbors.

Everpure Biodiesel Co-op was formed May 21. During the first stages of development, the co-op will market fuel from Owen Sound, Ontario-based Lougheed Biofuels in an effort to create a strong membership base.

According to Garrett Wright at the Everdale Biodiesel Co-op, the organization currently has approximately 40 members. "Over the next couple of years, we'll be trying to produce at least part of our own fuel consumption," Wright said. "This winter we'll be working on oil collection."

The co-op has not yet decided on how the fuel will be produced. It is exploring many options, including one central facility, a few individuals producing on behalf of the organization, or a mobile reactor that could be moved from place to place.

The fuel will be distributed to members at Jays Automotive in Hillsburgh on Thursdays from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m., and on Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.
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