'Greasezilla' performs ahead of initial estimates

Mar 10, 2017

"Greasezilla" is exceeding its initial expectations, according to Guy Campinha, Wareham's Director of Water Pollution Control.

The grease-separating machine converts used waste into biofuel. The machine, which cost $400,000, cooked up its first batch of grease earlier this year at the Water Pollution Control Facility.

The 4,200-pound batch was recently sold to a company in Illinois for 15 cents per pound, Campinha told the Sewer Commissioners Thursday night. The ultimate price of sale was more than $6,000. However, Campinha cannot sell the grease directly and depends on a broker to find and arrange sales.

"I'd rather get it sold than sit on all of it," said Campinha. The broker takes 50 percent of the sale price, leaving the Town of Wareham with an initial check of just over $3,000.

"Fifty percent? Why don't you find a different broker?" asked Sewer Commission Vice Chairman Malcolm White.

"It's a work in progress," Campinha responded. "There aren't that many in the industry - we're still learning."

According to Campinha, one cooking tank can produce 1,000 pounds of grease per day. The tank is able to cook a batch every three days (the other two days are needed to clean the machine).

Initial estimates indicate that one tank can produce $108,000 worth of grease every year. Campinha is working on getting the second cooking tank up and running, which will boost overall sales estimates to $216,000 per year.

He says that with numbers like those, Greasezilla may be able to pay for itself in five and a half years.

"That's a lot sooner than what was reported," White observed.

Campinha admitted that the ultimate payback period would be more concrete after a year, when data is available to analyze. "But we're very excited - very hopeful," he said.