A shared passion
Auscol celebrates 50 years of growth and innovation
October 31, 2022

Very few people think about what happens to the cooking oil at fast-food restaurants. But at GrainCorp Agri-Energy, this kitchen waste is a crucial component in our drive to help reduce greenhouse emissions from transport.

GrainCorp’s Used Cooking Oil (UCO) collection business, Auscol, calls on more than 5000 fast-food outlets and shopping centres nationally to safely collect, process and upcycle this waste into something much better.

When Auscol’s iconic green trucks pump out UCO from customer’s storage tanks, it begins the process of handling, processing, storing and shipping UCO that ultimately transforms it into biofuel that powers heavy transport around the world.

It’s a landmark year for Auscol, as it celebrates its 50th anniversary.

Formally founded in the early 1970s by Gardner Smith, it was a humble start to what would ultimately become an important national waste collection service.

In fact, prior to the 70s, the business was known as B&H Bluhdorn. Then, Bernard and Hazel Bluhdorn drove the streets of western Sydney collecting and recycling fat stored in prune tins from individual households.

L to R: Auscol Business Manager Michael McGuire and GrainCorp General Manager, Oils Commercial Brad Glass at Auscol’s 50th birthday celebration.

As the business grew, the Bluhdorn’s acquired large suppliers, including fast-food restaurants, like McDonalds and KFC, which Auscol still services today.

Once in the hands of Gardner Smith, the business was renamed Auscol and became part of the company’s portfolio which included tallow trading, oilseed crushing, stockfeed and also a national network of bulk liquid terminals. 

The Gardner Smith business, including Auscol, was acquired by GrainCorp in 2012 and continues to be recognised as one of Australia’s leading and longest running UCO service providers, while playing a critical role in supplying feedstocks to service the renewable energy section.

Today, it services more than 5000 customers across Australia, collecting 24 million-plus litres of UCO per year. That’s equivalent to 11 Olympic-sized swimming pools of oil removed from the environment and converted largely into biodiesel.

“Auscol’s 50 years have been shaped by growth, customer service and innovation which is all thanks to our people, who are at the heart of our success.”

Michael McGuire, Auscol Business Manager

“As Auscol enters its second 50 years, we’re excited to continue this growth and, through our role in GrainCorp Agri-Energy, be a part of the solution to sustainability and environmental management.”

Recycling UCO not only prevents waste from entering the environment but has huge environmental benefits. In fact, UCO-based renewable fuel can produce up to five times fewer CO2 emissions than petroleum diesel.

Michael adds: “There’s a lot of momentum building in the global renewable fuel space and we’re excited to play a leading role through upcycling one of the most sought-after biofuel feedstocks in the world: UCO.”

Read similar stories:

Media enquiries.

Jess Simons

Corporate Affairs & Government Relations Manager

Related articles