Green Fleet

Denver 'Trashes' Emissions With the 'Green Machine'

With a new hybrid-hydraulic trash truck, the City of Denver fleet achieves 25-percent better fuel economy and anticipates an annual reduction of 1,600 gallons of fuel.

January 2009, Government Fleet - Cover Story

by Grace Lauron - Also by this author

Ranked No. 9 Government Green Fleet in North America by the 100 Best Fleets organization, the Denver Public Works Fleet Maintenance Division is always on the lookout for green technologies. The latest addition to its ever-expanding green fleet now includes a hybrid-hydraulic trash truck.

Greening the Collection

Including the safety division, the City and County of Denver operate 2,820 vehicles, including 143 hybrids. "Currently 5 percent of the fleet is hybrid," said Nancy Kuhn, fleet administrator for the Public Works Fleet Maintenance Division.

In 2001, the agency bought a fleet of 39 Toyota Prius hybrid-electric vehicles, making it one of the world’s largest municipal hybrid fleets at the time. In 2005, the agency secured three Ford Escape Hybrids, among the first to roll off the assembly lines, and one of which is driven by Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper. 

Promoters of alternative fuels, the City and County of Denver started using biodiesel in 2004. All diesel units now run on cleaner-burning biodiesel fuel. 

Denver also utilizes propane and E-85, helping further reduce its dependency on foreign oil. In addition, the fleet took advantage of grant money to retrofit more than 80 vehicles and off-road equipment with emissions-control technology and install pre-heaters on 17 refuse trucks, reducing cold weather idling time and associated emissions.


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