Greg Lamb • 619-421-0805
Greg Lamb described his business this way,
“We take what would normally be a liability – or even a hazardous
waste – and make it usable.”
The company was started by Lamb’s mother in 1985, and at the
time she was importing fuel primarily from Mexico. In 1993, two
local companies were looking for someone to take their fuel,
and Lamb Fuels took advantage of that opportunity.
Now, trucks are dispatched across the country to pick up fuel
from auto wreckers, scrap yards, aviation and government facilities
and environmental companies. The company has about 20 employees,
“and it’s growing little by little,” Lamb said.
Lamb wasn’t involved in the business at the beginning. His career
started with the Marine Corps. Afterward, he spent 10 years in
the computer industry before working with his mother. Lamb said
that the interesting thing about his mother’s entrance into the
fuel recycling business was that before she started the business
she had been a waitress, but she saw an opportunity and she took
As far as his own involvement, he said, “Most people don’t get
to choose what they do; it chooses you.”
When Lamb first joined the business, there were only a few customers
in California. There weren’t any employees at that time, and
no company trucks for picking up the fuel. He took over the company
in 2003. “I took it to the next level,” Lamb said.
In 2005, Lamb started looking for new customers in the largest
markets and “quickly realized Florida was a place we wanted to
be.” Lamb said that while California provides the largest volume,
Florida has “an amazing amount of wrecking yards.”
Now, Lamb said, “we’re getting calls all the time,” from people
who want to recycle their fuel. “We service most of the country,
from California to Virginia,” and “we look forward to expanding
into central Canada.”
The volume of fuel handled increases each year, with a goal of
reaching 3 million gallons by the end of the year. Recently the
company “expanded into the aviation side.” Lamb said. “We have
a lot of room to grow.”
While most of the customers are regular pickups, the company
has also done some special jobs, including fuel from a rail company
that was decommissioning refrigeration cars, a military base
that had fuel tanks that needed to be emptied and a shipyard
where a ship needed to be de-fueled.
When the trucks arrive at a location, the drivers sample the
fuel to make sure it’s acceptable, and it is filtered as it goes
into the truck. Then it goes to one of Lamb Fuels’ depots. “It’s
amazing how many people can use this product,” Lamb said.
Lamb Fuels won’t accept fuel that isn’t clean enough. “It’s got
to look like gas,” Lamb said. But for their efforts, the customers
get paid for the fuel rather than paying for disposal. “They
drain the fuel,” Lamb explained, and then “it gets transferred
to a holding tank” awaiting pickup.
The fuel that isn’t good enough for Lamb Fuels isn’t a lost cause.
“There are other solutions out there for these companies,” Lamb
said. While Lamb Fuels won’t take the fuel, they can recommend
other companies who can burn the fuel. But that’s not the end
of the customer service. “We educate the recycler on how to keep
the gas clean,” Lamb said.
There are a few other companies in the country that pick up fuel,
“but none that have focused on the recyclers like we do,” Lamb
Like every business, this one has its challenges. “The trucks
are our biggest assets and liabilities,” Lamb said. The challenge
is to keep them well-maintained so they can spend as much time
on the road as possible.
The future for Lamb Fuels includes on-site filtration systems
for customer locations that “we’re hoping to roll out in the
next few months.” The details haven’t been worked out yet, but
he’s eager to talk to people about it. In fact, he said that
what he really enjoys is “getting in front of people and telling
them about our company.”