(Washington, DC) – The Department of Public Works (DPW), on behalf of the Bowser Administration, received a Fleet Leadership Award for its use of clean fuels in District vehicles by the Greater Washington Clean Cities Coalition (GWCCC). The award was presented yesterday at the GWCCC Awards Luncheon held in downtown DC. DPW fuels and maintains more than 4,000 District government vehicles. It has mandated the use of 100-percent biodiesel in most of DC government’s diesel fleet, as well as a 85-percent ethanol fuel and 15-percent gasoline mix (E85) in all District flex fuel vehicles.
In its attempt to further reduce Greenhouse Gas emissions, DPW launched a pilot program last winter enabling the use of 100-percent biodiesel fuel in six refuse trucks. The pilot reduced direct emissions over DPW’s diesel-powered counterparts by 75 percent.
“DPW’s diesel refuse trucks cause the highest amount of emissions per vehicle in the entire District fleet. We were looking for a solution to maximize emissions reductions while minimizing any effect on operations,” said DPW Director Chris Geldart, adding that the agency has ordered 17 new trucks that are 100 percent biodiesel to be delivered in Fiscal Year 2020.
Biodiesel is typically blended into traditional diesel at levels up to 20 percent biodiesel and 80 percent diesel. Biodiesel is a cleaner fuel solution produced from waste fats and oils, reducing greenhouse gas emissions up to 86 percent compared to traditional diesel.
DC’s fleet of government trucks consumed more than 1.1 million gallons of diesel fuel in 2018. Nearly 120,000 gallons of this was biodiesel, resulting in a greenhouse gas emission reduction of more than 1,000 tons. Additionally, the District’s light-duty fleet consumed more than 283,000 gallons of E85 last year, providing a greenhouse gas emission reduction of another 480 tons.
DPW received a similarly titled award last year focused solely on its use of biodiesel. This year's award is based on the results of GWCCC’s annual Department of Motor Vehicles fleet survey (submitted to the US Department of Energy) finding a broad use of both biodiesel and E85 by DPW.
“The Department of Public Works has always shown a willingness to pilot new alternative fuel vehicle initiatives, especially those that can help the District save money and contribute to a cleaner environment,” said GWCCC Executive Director Ira. H. Dorfman. “The Department’s current initiative to convert garbage packers to B100 is one example of how DPW is saving money and reducing its carbon footprint.”
DPW provides essential city services in two distinct program areas: environmental services/solid waste management and parking enforcement. Both contribute to making District streets and public spaces clean, safe, attractive and accessible for residents, businesses, commuters and visitors.