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Truck wash owner plans grease treatment system

Project will serve High Desert restaurants

BARSTOW • The owner of a Barstow truck wash hopes to reduce his potable water usage and provide local restaurants with a sustainable way to get rid of their used grease.

Ghassan Nassar, owner of Vernon Truck Wash on West Main Street, hopes to install a system that would treat used grease collected from restaurants in the Victor Valley and in Barstow. The system would bind the solids together and treat the liquid with lime to kill the bacteria.

The water would be used at his truck stop and the solids would be taken either to the Mitsubishi cement plant in Lucerne Valley to be used as fuel or to Red Star Fertilizer in Corona to be composted. The material could also be recycled, said Bill Phillips, owner of Alpha Omega Septic Service, who will install the system.

Three members of the Barstow Planning Commission granted Nassar and Phillips a conditional use permit for their project Monday. Commissioners Diane Flores and Mike Lewis were absent. City staff will review the project every six months to make sure Nassar and Phillips are complying with the conditional use permit.

Nassar and Phillips agreed with each condition except one that said they could only take grease from Barstow restaurants. There are about 75 restaurants in Barstow, according to the city.

Nassar said he wouldn’t be able to sustain his business with only 75 restaurants, which would only generate about 75,000 gallons of grease a year.

“It would take 5,000 gallons a day four days a week to be profitable,” he said.

Nassar also said that because he would reduce his potable water usage, the amount of water that goes back into the sewer from his truck wash will be negated. He estimated that he uses 1 million gallons of water a month to clean out trucks transporting livestock.

Planning Commissioner Bob Clemmer said that since Nassar’s water usage won’t increase because of this project, he would be in favor of allowing him to take grease from restaurants outside the Barstow area. But he wanted to make sure that staff would review the project in six months.

Commissioner Carmen Hernandez asked Nassar and Phillips if this project is in use elsewhere. Phillips replied that there are grease treatment facilities in Hemet and Temecula.

City Engineer Nick Nichols said there is a grease treatment facility in Santa Ana.

Contact the writer:
(760) 256-4123 or jcejnar@desertdispatch.com


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