Government Fleet Top News

City Backs Biodiesel Fuel for Garbage Trucks

May 18, 2004

SANTA ROSA, CA —- Windsor's garbage trucks may soon have a decidedly different scent about them, according to the Santa Rosa Press Democrat newspaper on April 8. The Windsor Town Council took the first steps toward converting its garbage truck fleet from standard diesel fuel to biodiesel, a clean-burning alternative produced from vegetable and animal oils and recycled restaurant greases.Biodiesel costs more per gallon, and would require increasing garbage rates about 7 percent. That would add about 80 cents a month for the typical 68-gallon garbage can used by residential customers. But town officials figure biodiesel is much more environmentally friendly than other fuels. It cuts down on greenhouse and toxic gases, is biodegradable and can be used in conventional diesel engines with little or no modification. While Windsor would be a pioneer in the use of biodiesel in Sonoma County, Berkeley, Calif. has used it in its municipal fleet since last summer. Olympia, Wash., converted its solid waste collection fleet to biodiesel in January. Some school buses and military vehicles also use it in other parts of the country. The garbage company that serves Windsor currently pays close to $2 a gallon for standard diesel fuel. The 100 percent biodiesel that would be used in the town's garbage trucks can be obtained for $2.71 a gallon, reported the Santa Rosa Press Democrat.

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