N.C. utility company wants to make biodiesel fuel

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Utilities wants to turn its biggest headache — sewer-clogging grease — into fuel for its trucks.

The utility, and several partners, want to learn whether the muck from restaurant grease traps can be turned into biodiesel. The non-petroleum fuel is made from vegetable oils and animal fats.

Success would turn stuff that's now sent to the landfill into a less-polluting fuel. It would also take out of circulation some of the grease that causes more than half the utility's sewage spills.

"It's just a clogging of the arteries," said Jackie Jarrell, utilities' environmental management superintendent. "All cities deal with it."

Charlotte-Mecklenburg would join a small cadre of biodiesel-making local governments.

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