WINNSBORO — Midlands Biofuels has been awarded the 2013 Spare the Air Award for the Most Outstanding Business in South Carolina. The award recognizes a company that has been a good steward of the environment.
Midlands BioFuels owner Joe Renwick said he was pleased his company is being recognized with such an honor even though he was unaware Midlands BioFuels was even in the running for such an outstanding award.
“I was very excited and I had no idea that I was even in the running,” he stated. “We are very pleased and were very surprised and just honored to be recognized.”
Renwick said his company was in the running because they produce bio diesel in an effort to reduce ground water pollution and carbon dioxide emissions.
Midlands BioFuels works closely with the Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) and provide fuel to the City of Columbia at a discounted rate for the municipality to use in their fleet of vehicles.
Renwick noted that his company is set apart from other companies because it is the only company in the state of South Carolina that collects oil, makes fuel and then sells that fuel back within the state.
“We are the only one doing this,” he said. “We don’t have a competitor.”
Midlands BioFuels has been open since 2008 and is being recognized by DHEC because the company helps reduce pollutants everyday.
“What we do everyday reduces both ground water pollution from waste vegetable oil getting into creeks and streams and backing up sewer systems, so we reduce that as an environmental problem. And then the fuel that we produce reduces air emissions and air pollution. So that is the big reason why what we do as business has such a massive impact on our environment. We are reducing waste in the water as well as pollution in the air,” Renwick explained.
By collecting the oil they reduce pollution in water and by making the fuel, they reduce pollution in the air.
Based on a normal monthly production of 10,000 gallons per month, Midlands BioFuels reduces 188,000 pounds of carbon emissions each month.
Based on that 10,000 per month average, Midlands BioFuels produces 120,000 gallons per year and reduces 2.25 million pounds of carbon dioxide in the air each year.
Renwick noted that the plant is only producing half the amount of which its capable.
He wants people in the community to know that his company needs donations to keep up with the high demand.
“We need oil,” Renwick stated. “We need vegetable oil donated.”
Homeowners everyday throw oil in the backyard or down the drain and Renwick requests that homeowners bring their oil to Midlands BioFuels, so his company can turn it into bio diesel.
The company already has an overwhelming demand and now just needs oil in order to supply that demand.
“I don’t need another person to come here to try and buy fuel because we already have demand for that,” Renwick noted. “Our biggest problem is getting the oil in order to make fuel.”
There will be an open house and award ceremony on Wednesday (April 23) at Midlands BioFuels plant, 310 South Congress Street in Winnsboro at 11 a.m.
The purpose of the Spare the Air award is to recognize environmental leaders (i.e., companies, groups, communities, schools, local governments and individuals) that have made a voluntary commitment to promote and practice air quality improvement in South Carolina.
The goal of the Spare the Air award is to promote a healthier environment through air quality initiatives that are sustainable and replicable to educate, build awareness, and motivate others to make better decisions about the environment through air quality improvements.
Last year’s winners included Daniel Island Academy (Outstanding School), Bosch Anderson (Outstanding Business) and the City of Rock Hill (Outstanding Local Government).
As a part of the awards program, SC DHEC will come to the facility to make the presentation.
State Rep. Mick Mulvaney will be the key note speaker for the event as well.
Renwick will also be giving an open house tour of the plant to show everyone why Midlands BioFuels was given the award for the way they operate their business and encourages the community to show up in full support.
“We would not be where we are today without your support over the years and would like to invited you to attend the award ceremony and eat lunch here at the plant,” he said. “We are still a small grass roots company trying to keep it going and need all the support we can get.”