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Kaufman Astoria studio leads city in producing green energy

Kaufman Astoria Studios is going green after the movie and television complex recently switched its heating fuel source to an oil that is blended with biodiesel, making the western Queens complex the largest commercial user of the clean energy product in the five boroughs.

The studio, at 34-12 36th St. in Astoria, began using Greenheat, which is produced by Greenpoint, Brooklyn’s Metro heating oil company, earlier this month.

Hal Rosenbluth, president of Kaufman Astoria Studios, said the change to Greenheat would eliminate annually 70,000 tons of carbon dioxide and replace 4,000 gallons of oil with domestic renewable fuel as well as reduce sulfur, particulate matter and other harmful emissions.

“When Metro suggested we move to greener, more renewable heating oil, we decided it was the perfect time to make a change as we have been looking for ways to go green around the complex,” Rosenbluth said. “The initiative to switch our heating oil fit naturally into our plans and we now have a new heating plant in the studio.”

Greenheat is Metro’s brand of biodiesel-blended heating oil made from domestic and renewable resources, such as recycled restaurant grease. Kaufman Astoria is now the largest user of the oil in the city.

Metro, located along Newtown Creek, typically sells blends, of which 2 percent to 20 percent are comprised of biodiesel, to municipal, commercial and residential customers in the city. The company was founded in 1942 by Pauline Pullo as a cleaner alternative to coal and has since become one of the largest family-owned heating oil, natural gas, diesel and gasoline sellers in the five boroughs.

Gene Pullo, president of Metro, said George Kaufman, the studio’s owner, and Rosenbluth have “emerged as leaders in environmental stewardship, setting an example for building owners everywhere.”

The studio is currently in the process of constructing a $20 million expansion project that includes a new soundstage and support space. The project, which broke ground in October, will eventually close off a portion of 36th Street in Astoria to allow for the creation of a new studio lot.

Reach reporter Nathan Duke by e-mail at nduke@cnglocal.com or by phone at 718-229-0300, Ext. 156.

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