Project greasing skids for student activism

By Patricia Daddona
PBN Staff Writer

Project Turn Grease Into Fuel has had such success building a local following that the teens involved plan to branch out across New England. More

To continue reading this article, please do one of the following.



EDUCATION

Project greasing skids for student activism

COURTESY JASON LIN
OILED UP: A team of students recycles waste cooking oil at the Westerly Transfer Station. From left: John Perino, Vanessa Bertsch, Cassandra Lin, Miles Temel and Isaac Kaufman.

By Patricia Daddona
PBN Staff Writer

Posted 1/13/14

Project Turn Grease Into Fuel has had such success building a local following that the teens involved plan to branch out across New England.

“The way that we designed the program, it sustains itself,” said Cassandra Lin, an original member of the 7-year-old project who now attends the Williams School in New London, Conn. “It really just needs maintenance, so we can still be involved once we’re in college.”

John Perino, another original member now at Westerly High School, said, “We want TGIF present in all six New England states in the next five years. We know it’s a big goal, but when we go out to do these pitches, we build a lot of connections, so we think it’s possible.”

Making pitches over the past six years to restaurants and towns from Westerly, Warwick and South Kingstown, to southeastern Connecticut and Fall River, Perino, Lin and several other students have successfully signed on 132 restaurants and 15 municipalities. Early on, they arranged to have Newport Biodiesel collect the waste oil from restaurants or transfer stations and refine it for free.

The proceeds businesses and towns would otherwise pay to a refiner – adding up to more than $126,000 to date – are instead donated to charities and shelters, which in turn provide home-heating assistance to those in need.

As the group enters its seventh year, the project has collected more than 160,000 gallons of waste oil, leading to the creation of 130,000 gallons of biodiesel, said Perino’s mother, Barbara Perino. She is also executive vice president of operations for The Washington Trust Co., and director of the nonprofit Westerly Innovations Network, which provides some basic financial support.

The effort has offset approximately 2.5 million pounds of carbon dioxide from being released into the atmosphere, she added.

Next Page
Calendar
PBN Hosted
Events

Only a few seats remain for PBN's Manufacturing Awards Dinner and Ceremony, Thursday, April 24th, at the Bryant University Bello Center. Don't hesitate. Register today!
  • Business Women
    Accomplished. Confident. Wicked Smart. Nominate women you know who deserve speci ...
  • 40 Under Forty
    It's the 10th Anniversary of 40 Under Forty, and PBN is planning a special event ...
  • Healthiest Employers
    Enrollment now open for the 2014 Healthiest Employers Program. Please take a mom ...
Advertisement
Purchase Data
Book of Lists
Lists
Book of Lists cover
PBN's annual Book of Lists has been an essential resource for the local business community for almost 30 years. The Book of Lists features a wealth of company rankings from a variety of fields and industries, including banking, health care, real estate, law, hospitality, education, not-for-profits, technology and many more.
Data icons
Data can be purchased as single lists, in either Excel or PDF format; the entire database of the published book, in Excel format; or a printed copy of the Book of Lists.
  • Purchase an e-File of a single list
  •  
  • Purchase an e-File of the entire Book of Lists database
  •  
  • Purchase a printed copy of the Book of Lists
  •  
    National
    Local
    Latest News