BUFFALO, N.Y. (CN) - In a lawsuit that gives a peep into the economics of the biofuel business, a biofuel company claims a Travelodge breached contract by removing its waste vegetable cooking oil collector and selling its waste oil to a competitor.
Buffalo Biodiesel sued Anthony Tripodi dba Travelodge on Aug. 21, in Erie County Supreme Court. Tripodi's Travelodge is in Farmington, N.Y., according to the complaint.
Buffalo Biodiesel claims it signed a contract with Tripodi in 2013, giving it "ownership interest" in all the waste vegetable cooking oil the Travelodge produced for 5 years.
Under the contract, Buffalo Biodiesel agreed to pay 50 cents a gallon for the oil, and provide a 175-gallon storage vat to collect it.
But Tripodi had the vat hauled away, repudiated the agreement, and let another biodiesel company install a vat, according to the complaint.
Buffalo Biodiesel claims it was damaged to the tune of $17,796, plus interest, and continues to be damaged.
It seeks damages and costs.
It is represented by Jonathan Jacobs, of Tonawanda.
Such lawsuits are not unusual, since biodiesel-fueled cars have hit the roads. In the Midwest, there have been biodiesel collection wars, in which biodiesel companies have accused rivals of surreptitiously setting up siphons in collection lines, to swipe the used restaurant oil before it hits the legitimate collector's vats.