In walk with Councilmembers Sharon Zadra and Jessica Sferrazza, Lauren Scott shares great idea

Several people braved the impossible heat at noon today to join Sharon Zadra and Jessica Sferrazza on yet another Monday noon walk, a regular event started about a couple of months ago.  This event gives constituents an opportunity to bring their concerns and issues directly to their representatives on the city council.  Except now, future Monday walks may not happen at noon until our heat wave ends (which doesn’t seem to be anytime soon).  So, plans are to find either an early morning or early evening time to do this on the weekly Monday walks.  Still, people did show up at noon, gathering at the foot bridge at West Street Plaza.  And, thanks to that Facebook site, no one (except this one couple, unknown to me anyway) were strangers. 

Lauren Scott had already posted an idea on the Wall at Facebook and it’s a good one.  It addresses the wasteful and polluting practice of restaurants, etc. discarding their used cooking oil; she pointed out that all that could be used (after a fairly inexpensive processing of it) as biodiesel fuel (for our city buses, for example).  Jessica already knew Lauren was going to bring this up, so it was an easy matter for Lauren to brief Sharon and Jessica on this.   Examples were given of other cities that had programs to use the oil.  Both council members clearly want to follow up with an examination of this as a possible practice in Reno also.  (In addition to city buses, Don Clark also suggested that school buses could also be fueled with biodiesel.  He also had some news in regards to the possible use of fuel cells in city buses.  Clark and his wife Susan are the folks at Cathexes, btw.  See the recent article on the event that was recently held there.)

(Lauren’s Facebook wall post reposted at bottom of this article as an “addendum”.  Note the useful links provided.)

We ended up walking all the way to the spot under the Wells Street bridge where the walk labrynith is and then retracing our steps back to downtown:






In above photo: Sharon, Don, and Lauren


In above photo, couple whose names I don’t know, Donna at rear (she found us late in the walk!) and Jessica on the right.

On another note:  Since I lived and worked in Napa for a little over 20 years, I was curious about the road trip the Mayor and the City Council recently took to Napa (and San Francisco) to check out their open aired market plazas.  So I asked Jessica about that.  She reported that Reno and Napa have similiar flood control plans for the rivers running through our respective cities.  She also noted, that unlike Reno, their river trail (I think she’s probably referring to the downtown area of Napa) didn’t run immediately adjacent to the river.  (At one point, she pointed across the river and told me about that tall building across from the ballpark and how it should have had a set back so people could now have easy walk access also on the north side of the river along that stretch, just east of the downtown center.)

Another note: when I told Jessica about Paula McDonough’s effort to open up an affordable grocery store at the 2nd and N. Sierra St site, she was very enthusiastic….saying such a store was clearly needed.

Addendum:  Here is Lauren’s wall post at the Facebook event page set up for today’s walk.  Note the useful links.

I would like to discuss starting a municipal waste cooking oil collection program (from schools, hotels and restaurants) with the intention of recycling this useful product into biodiesel for private use and for use in the city and county buses and municipal fleets. This program would reduce the amount of oil in the waste stream and sewers, reduce the cities dependence on foreign oil and reduce the pollution from traditional #2 diesel. It might even save some money. For more information —

Used Cooking Oil—Harvesting an Urban Crop from Casinos

Producing Biodiesel for Municipal Vehicle Fleets from Recycled Cooking Oil

Life Cycle Inventory of Biodiesel and Petroleum Diesel for Use in an Urban Bus


2 Responses to “In walk with Councilmembers Sharon Zadra and Jessica Sferrazza, Lauren Scott shares great idea”

  1. Paula McDonough Says:

    To Lauren Scott:

    I don’t remember if Allied Washoe processes bio-fuel or if they only dispense it. Please get in touch with . . .

    Mike Cox
    Phone: (w) 323-3146
    Mobile: 240-8823
    Business Information:
    Title: Vice-President
    Company: Allied Washoe Petroleum
    2500 E. Fourth St.
    Reno 89513

  2. Lauren Scott Says:

    Good news! Much of Reno runs on biodiesel already. Who knew?

    I received a prompt reply from the City of Reno. They have been using B5 in much of their fleet vehicles since last year. They started using B20 (20% biodiesel) in all of their vehicles this year. They have plans to use higher blends as the field evaluation continue.

    Currently, biodiesel is purchased by the City of Reno on contract bid from regional fuel suppliers. The source of the feedstock for their processing is more-than-likely commercial virgin vegetable oils available on the bulk market.

    Much of the local waste cooking oil in Reno (from casinos and restaurants) is collected by Bently Biofuels in Minden and by private biodiesel enthusiasts. Only small amounts are wasted.

    Allied-Washoe sells biodiesel from Bently Biofuels as an authorized distributor to commercial users.


    Lauren Scott

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