Greening Waste Management

John Davis

While garbage trucks clean up our trash, too many times the trucks themselves have been polluting the environment through their emissions.

According to this Reuters story, a growing number of cities, including New York and San Francisco, are switching their garbage trucks to the greener fuel fleets to cut soot and greenhouse gases… without any extra costs:

“The greening of the waste management is here, but it’s not going to happen overnight,” said Bruce Parker, director of the National Solid Wastes Management Association.

New York, the largest city in the country, is the latest to pump biofuels into garbage trucks.

Starting July 1, the city will fuel its fleet of 4,500 garbage trucks with a blend of 5 percent biodiesel and 95 percent regular diesel known as “B5,” according to Rocco DiRico, assistant commissioner for support operations in New York City’s Department of Sanitation.

Officials estimate New York’s garbage trucks will emit 3 percent less particulate pollution. San Francisco, which switched 335 garbage trucks to B20 biodiesel, cut its emissions by about 21%.

These big cities might be considered somewhat as latecomers to the biodiesel game as several other cities such as Seattle, Washington; Portland, Oregon; Berkeley, California; and Grand Rapids, Michigan, have been using B20 for several years.