By Gail “LaJanet” Miles
“One man’s fish fried grease is another man’s motor oil,” might be a spin on an old cliché, but three young neighborhood men see dollar signs in that old, smelly cooking grease.
Yes, dear readers, that entrepreneurial spirit to better themselves and the community does live in some of our young black men.
Meet the young men who saw an opportunity to create their own jobs and took a leap of faith to establish the Southwest Cooking Grease Recycling (SCGR) company.
Joseph Patton, 26, is the company’s CEO. Bryan Colteste, 23, is the SCGR president. And, Daniel Njie, 23, is its vice President.
This terrific trio formed the company two years ago after completing a college project on recycling.
They are Penn State graduates who quickly realized that many people after using grease to make French fries crisp and fried chicken tasty were trashing it or clogging their pipes by pouring this gooey substance down their kitchen drains.
Trashing grease pollutes the environment and unclogging drains is costly.
But these three neighbors had another idea: collect it, remove the crud and sell it to a company that creates bio diesel fuel.
“We want to bring hope back in the community by using a resource that some may think is trash, “said Colteste with amazement and great enthusiasm for making a difference.
Their company is presently collecting about 5,000 gallons/month of used cooking grease from 40 commercial establishments and 800 residential homes in the Tri-State area.
With some of the profits, their company is giving back to the community.
Last August, SGCR hosted and paid for a “Back to School” extravaganza for school-aged children. Free haircuts for boys and hairstyles for girls as well as food and school supplies were granted to the students in attendance.
“I feel great to be setting a positive role model to young kids to show how to be a role model and always give back to your community,” Patton stated with jubilation.
Patton elaborated on their future plans to award a book scholarship and help with tuition cost to a deserving youngster by 2016.
“A student may not have the best GPA but have a need and a sincere desire to go to college. We want to help them out.” Patton emphasized that the group will focus on merit and not academic ability exclusively.
In order for SCGR to make this particular dream a reality, they must increase in popularity and in profits. They have already started to put this goal in the forefront.
“We met with Mayor Nutter’s Chief of Staff Tumar Alexander in reference to making oil recycling mandatory in the city,” Patton stated with pure bliss.
According to Patton, the meeting concluded with, if SCGR can obtain a petition of 10,000 signatures then Alexander would consider beginning the process of passing a bill to make oil recycling mandatory. Patton foresees having half of the signatures needed by this December.
If you live in the West/Southwest neighborhoods, you can have SGCR pick up your old, used grease. The company will drop off a container with a secure cap to prevent any spillage. Collection is once a month. There is no cost to participants.
To begin collecting contact SCGR at 215-500-1692 or view their web page www.SCGRecycle.com.