PHILADELPHIA – Mayor Michael Nutter opened the city's fifth biodiesel refueling station May 27, furthering the goals laid out in the city's sustainability plan to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 20 percent and improve the overall air quality of the city. The new station will be able to serve an additional 35 to 40 vehicles.
Currently 200 trash and recycling trucks and construction vehicles use biofuel, each producing 20 percent less hydrocarbons, an ozone precursor, and resulting in a 10 percent reduction in lifecycle greenhouse gases, according to the city.
The program was started through collaboration between the Health Department, Fleet Management, and the Streets Department. The Health Department applied for the State's Alternative Fuels Incentive Grant which entirely funds this operation, with Fleet Management and the Streets Department dealing with implementation.
These stations provide B-20 blend fuel which consists primarily of soy, but also contains recycled oils from poultry or yellow grease. The city's biodiesel program exclusively purchases Pennsylvania or U.S. produced biodiesel from the Energy Cooperative, a nonprofit member-owned cooperative that is based in Philadelphia.
Deputy Mayor for Transportation and Utilties Rina Cutler is proud to have Philadelphia's fleet of recycling and trash trucks leading the way to a greener Philadelphia, "a biodiesel fueled fleet decreases our dependence on imported oil and reduces green house gas emissions."
Under its Greenworks Philadelphia plan, Philadelphia is striving to become the greenest city in the U.S. by 2015. It sets goals in five areas - energy, environment, equity, economy, and engagement - and encompasses more than 150 initiatives.