Green Fleet

Sacramento Takes the Green Leap

The City of Sacramento has taken its "going green" goals to a new level, and it's been able to prove the benefits along the way.

March 2014, Government Fleet - WebXclusive

by Stephane Babcock

The City of Sacramento's fleet department has reduced gasoline consumption by 10% since 2011 and increased the use of compressed natural gas. Photo courtesy of City of Sacramento.
The City of Sacramento's fleet department has reduced gasoline consumption by 10% since 2011 and increased the use of compressed natural gas. Photo courtesy of City of Sacramento.

In the capital of alt-fuel friendly California, the City of Sacramento's Fleet Manager, Keith Leech, has not only invested in going green, he's converted more than 20 percent of the City's fleet to alternative-fuel vehicles, including liquefied natural gas (LNG) and compressed natural gas (CNG) refuse trucks, flex-fuel light-duty sedans and pickup trucks, propane autogas vans and trucks, and plug-in battery electric and hybrid motor pool vehicles.

"Fleet management decided to make the change to reduce the fleet's reliance on petroleum and also reduce emissions," said Leech, a 2013 Green Fleet Sustainability All-Star. He has measured the effectiveness of different alternative fuels based on the reduction of emissions, as well as their cost effectiveness and total cost of alt-fuel vehicle ownership (TCO).

Leech is able to justify the cost difference of alt-fuel vehicles by recovering the added initial cost through the lifecycle of the vehicle due to their lower fuel and maintenance costs. "Additionally, we are reducing the carbon footprint, which is in alignment with the City of Sacramento Sustainability Master Plan," Leech added.

Over the past few years, the City of Sacramento has pioneered a number of alternative-fuel programs, including the use of renewable natural gas produced by food waste. The Sacramento BioDigester, manufactured by CleanWorld, is the largest closed-loop anaerobic digestion system in North America, according to the City. It converts 25 tons of food waste per day — and will soon be upgraded to 100 tons per day — into a number of different forms of renewable energy, including heat, electricity, and CNG, which is dispensed at an adjacent fueling station that is owned by Atlas Disposal and operated by Clean Energy Fuels.

"The City of Sacramento is the first government fleet in the country to use renewable CNG produced locally from food waste from an anaerobic digester to power their trucks," Leech said. "The City also uses more than 1 million gallons of LNG per year to power its refuse trucks, which saves Sacramento more than $1 million versus diesel trucks."

According to Leech, the City has a sourcing agreement in place for up to 2,500 gallons of CNG per week. This includes at least 30-percent renewable CNG at the fueling station, which will fuel 20 new heavy-duty CNG-powered trucks, 11 Autocar rear loaders, three Freightliner Elgin Broom Bear sweepers, two Vaccon sewer truck, a pavement patch truck, and three Freightliner M2 Utility Service trucks.

Sacramento's fleet management department was provided a report containing the results of two separate analyses based on data provided by Utilimarc, a fleet consulting and technology solutions firm. These analyses included fuel consumption by type as a percentage of fleet and greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) analysis.

According to Leech, "the report quantifies the City's reduction in petroleum consumption and increases in alternative-fuel usage with the associated emissions benefits. This information has been extremely effective in further educating and influencing the city council and our fleet customer departments resulting in the adoption of our enhanced Fleet Sustainability Policy."

Among the fleet's sustainability achievements due to its alternative-fuel fleet between 2011 and 2013:

  • Gasoline consumption was reduced by 10 percent.
  • LNG fuel consumption was increased by 87 percent.
  • Diesel consumption was reduced by 34 percent.
  • The City fleet consumed 703,419 fewer gallons of gasoline and diesel fuel in 2013, compared to 2009.
  • Fleet had a decrease of 33.5 percent in total  fuel consumption, compared to 2009.
  • GHG gas emissions decreased by 3,040 metric tons from 2009 to 2013, an 11-percent decrease from 2009 to 2013.

Editor's note: This story first appeared in the March/April issue of Green Fleet Magazine.


  1. 1. Ekhlasul Haque [ March 24, 2014 @ 07:31AM ]

    Cox's bazar is one of the wonder of the world for natural beauty with 150 km sea beach and mountain on Bay of Bengal. The city is one of the best attraction for tourism. But our waste management is still not up date and the city is not really clean. Recently we have showed a planing how to go for Fossil Free Cox's bazar and start with biogas. The presentation is enclosed herewith for your information.

    We are also sending the information of the city and we will use the following waste for this project:
    1. Municipal waste, mainly from household (per-seperated organic waste), hotel and restaurent food waste, school & collage hostel's food waste, waste from fruit and vegetable market, etc.

    2. Approximately the waste will be 50-60 ton per day at the moment but will be over 100 tons in next several years.

    3. We prefer dry fermentation and a complete supply from outside except the civil construction and related works necessary works which need to be done locally.

    4. We are experienced in building 2 wet processing project from poultry manure 3 years before and which is running successful. It was supplied by HEEE, a renowned Chinese company.

    5. Bangladesh is a country of 160 millions people and all the city is planning to go for City Based Biogas. It is a potential market.

    6. Cox's bazar is the first City Based project and based on the success of this project, there are a huge opportunity to built all other cities. Population of the small cities are as follows:
    Small cities: 200,000 to 300,000 people
    Medium cities: 400,000 to 500,000 peoples
    Big cities: 1,000,000 to 1,200,000 peoples
    Large cities: Limited but it is 2,000,000-2,500,000 / 4,000,000 -4,500,000 and Dhaka is a city of 20.0 million people.

    Power crisis and health hazard is very important for Bangladesh as it is going to achieve the goal of Low Income country to Medium income country very soon.

    We need your cooperation. Let's work together and save the global village from the future crisis.

    Thank you very much.

    Best regards,

    +880 17 1300 6084
    +880 2 814 2531-33
    skype: ekhlas.haque

    Please print if it is really required, if not, please do not.
    Green City means Healthy City, let's think Green

  2. 2. Kelly Reagan [ March 26, 2014 @ 12:02PM ]


    You are doing awesome things in Northern CA - trash to gas is certainly the right focus and "closes the loop" from an enviornmental perspective. I spoke several years ago at UNC on our CNG progress and these guys were all quite focused on closing the loop as well, just as Europe does in so many places: You are a Champion and driving what all of us should be doing, instead of opening another dump down the road (not in my back yard)-turning our waste streams into energy-now this is sustainable as we all produce trash and waste.

    Thank you for being a pioneer in gasous fuels - Keep up the great work.


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