High energy fuels energy independence fest

For sixth year, MoGreena complex a model for recycling fun, entertainment 

By Kathleen Brady SheaManaging Editor, The Times


The Brad Hinton Band was one of the musical groups that provided entertainment.

MODENA – One visit to the Waste Oil Recyclers and Organic Mechanics Energy Independence Day – an ecologically-friendly, family-oriented festival that was held for the sixth time on Sunday, May 18 – and you’ll likely become a regular.

Monica Dulemba was a repeat visitor, and she brought a newcomer with her to share the fun. She said she found out about the annual event several years ago from one of the Waste Oil Recyclers employees she met through the Western Chester County Chamber of Commerce. Besides the fact that the festival offers great entertainment, Dulemba, a development officer for DNB First bank, said she enjoys supporting a company that gives back to the community.

Justin Mahaney, who lives in New London, agreed. Although he was attending for the first time, he’ll likely return. He came with a friend who works for Waste Oil Recyclers and said he was impressed that the company “grows food that gets donated” to the needy. “I really like what they’re doing,” he said.

Exhibiting a penchant for repurposing, Waste Oil Recyclers collects used cooking oil and transforms it into biodiesel. Its headquarters, the innovative MoGreena Complex on Union Street, has been a magnet for like-minded entrepreneurs similarly committed to the idea of reusing and recycling.

Chief among them is Organic Mechanics, which produces 100 percent peat-free organic soils made from local materials. Then there’s Fred the auto mechanic, who helps make sure that all of the aging Mercedes favored by the Waste Oil Recyclers crew run smoothly on the company’s biodiesel. Others include Philadelphia Custom Block & Board, who work magic with wood, especially cutting boards, and Tom Breglia, an Organic Mechanics employee who transforms recycled – what else? – materials into creative furniture and children’s toys.

The Brad Hinton Band, Mason Porter and Tin Bird Choir treated the hundreds of visitors who attended Sunday’s event to live music that periodically prompted dancing.  Some folks brought chairs to sit and enjoy the musical entertainment while others preferred strolling around the complex. Canning demonstrations were provided by the Coatesville Area Arts Alliance, and a potting area was set up for kids, who also did art projects, had their faces painted, and soaked up the positive atmosphere.

Midnight Munchies, DJ Dino D’s Ice Cream Truck, Nomadic Pies, and Robin Mastrippolito, Confectioner, made sure that no one was hungry.  And to help wash it all down, the Victory Beer Company provided samples of its Pale Headwaters Ale, which gets its name and its taste from the waters of the nearby Brandywine.

Although the creek was behaving beautifully on Sunday – affording its usual tranquil view from the complex – a photo board displayed evidence that it had wreaked havoc during the recent floods, threatening the Mogreena Garden Project (MGP), which is now in its second year. Last year, MGP donated thousands of pounds of organic produce to the Chester County Food Bank. Organizers hope to increase that output – as soon as the raised beds that got washed away are rebuilt.

But in the meantime, many plants spread throughout the compound are flourishing – from the potatoes planted below the stage to the steel drums along the driveway that are filled with an assortment of herbs.

Dino D. Thompson, the DJ and ice cream maker whose food truck was drawing a crowd, said he was attending the festival for the first time after learning about it from the owner of Midnight Munchies. Thompson said the two often attend events together.

“I’m having a good time,” he added. “The people here have been really great.” Asked about the popularity of his pina colada water ice, Thompson smiled. “I made it this morning,” he said.

For more information about Waste Oil Recyclers, visit http://www.wasteoilrecyclers.com/waste-oil-collection/?gclid=CK762ZiBor4CFUQaOgodSFMAWg. Information about the MoGreena Garden Project is available at https://www.facebook.com/pages/Mogreena-Garden-Project/102566076606079.

   Send article as PDF   

Share this post:

Related Posts

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.