The City of Bellevue, Wash., will begin using B-20 biodiesel for its fleet vehicles, which is expected to reduce emissions and fuel costs, the city announced Oct. 12.
The new biodiesel is produced from recycled cooking oil instead of virgin crop oil, which will reduce lifecycle greenhouse gas emissions by 16.5% as compared to petroleum diesel, according to the city. The fuel will also be purchased at an average cost savings of 28 cents per gallon over the previous B-15 blend, saving the city an estimated total of $25,650 per year.
"Our new biodiesel contract is a big win for Bellevue's Environmental Stewardship Initiative," said Emma Johnson, the city's resource conversation manager. "Not only is the city being a good steward of our environment, but we're saving taxpayers a substantial amount of money."
Biodiesel is a renewable diesel fuel replacement that is produced from a diverse mix of feedstock including recycled cooking oil, soybean, corn and canola oil, and animal fats. Biodiesel reduces greenhouse gas emissions by at least 57% for non-recycled oil and up to 86%for recycled cooking oil when compared to petroleum diesel, according to the EPA. Under the new contract, more than 51% of the recycled cooking oil will be sourced from a 50-mile radius of Seattle, ensuring that the fuel is made from local resources.
This effort is part of the city's broader Environmental Stewardship Initiative. The program has had a number of successes, including the replacement of 50% the city’s fleet vehicles with hybrids and electric alternatives, and a 22% reduction in energy usage by City Hall between 2009 and 2014.