For his continued commitment and dedication to renewable bio-fuel energy resources, one of these awards was presented to the Assistant Director of Transportation for Gaston County Schools, Grady Truett, who spearheaded Gaston County Schools’ efforts to power their fleet of school buses, in part, with bio-diesel fuel.
Mr. Truett began his bio-diesel campaign by making small batches of fuel from school cafeteria waste grease, and now has a state-of-the-art production facility located in one of the County’s vacant bus bays. While continuing to utilize recycled local cafeteria grease as basic feedstock, he has been able to leverage the school system’s non-profit status into obtaining even larger quantities of feedstock from corporate partner donations.
His commitment has earned Gaston County Schools the honor of being the first school district in NC to produce its own bio-diesel fuel for use in its buses. By using vegetable oil from school cafeterias, recycling centers, restaurants and large manufacturers the school expects to produce 200,000 gallons this year. In addition to reducing exhaust emissions, the County will save about $300,000 in bus fuel costs annually.
Truett was nominated by Jason Wager, the coordinator of the Centralina Clean Fuels Coalition. Wager (pictured with Truett and DPI School Support Director Dr. Ben Matthews) wrote in his nomination:
“Grady Truett has spearheaded the effort for Gaston County Schools in the effort to bring biodiesel to reality for the fleet. Out of a strong belief that kids should ride buses with cleaner emissions, he has developed a program that now is looked to across NC and indeed the U.S. as a model for how to make biodiesel a reality in local school systems. From modest beginnings of making very small batches from cafeteria waste grease in cooking pots, he has designed and built, often using his own funds, a state of the art production facility in an old bus paint bay. While still holding to a very sustainability-based model of using recycled cafeteria grease, he has demonstrated how to leverage the schools non-profit status to successfully obtain feedstock in larger quantities by providing letters of donation to corporate partners.”
Truett was featured in a November 2005 article at www.ncbussafety.org. Click here for more information.