Sanitation department goes green
by Daniel Bush
Aug 25, 2009 | 4901 views | 0 0 comments | 104 104 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Mayor in Maspeth
Mayor Bloomberg announces the city's new sanitation initiative in Maspeth on August 24.
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Mayor Michael Bloomberg made a rare appearance in Maspeth August 24 to unveil a new fleet of green vehicles, part of the city’s ongoing effort to reduce carbon emissions by the year 2030.

The city has purchased four hybrid electric waste collection trucks, to be used by the Department of Sanitation (DSNY). The trucks will be put to use collecting garbage in Western Queens. The state-of-the-art trucks are the first of their kind to be used anywhere in the United States.

The city also unveiled a fleet of ten all-electric Mini Es vehicles, on loan from BMW, to be used by the Parks Department and the Street Conditions Observation Unit (SCOUT). SCOUT teams patrol the street looking for quality of life issues.

The cars, similar in design to the Mini Cooper, are powered by an 150-kilowatt electric motor and can travel up to 100 miles on a single charge. Still unavailable on the commercial market, they cars are part of a nationwide field test.

Bloomberg said the trucks and cars will help the city meet its PlaNYC goal of reducing the municipal government’s carbon emissions by 30 percent by the year 2017. The plan calls for the city to reduce its entire carbon emissions output by 30 percent by 2030.

City officials did not say by how much the city would reduce carbon emissions through the use of the green trucks and cars.

“Through PlaNYC, our vision for a greener, greater, New York, we’ve been dedicated to reducing pollution and improving the air quality in our City,” Bloomberg said in prepared remarks at the ceremony.

The mayor said while the city encourages residents to use public transportation, some trips will have to be made by car.

“So we want the vehicles driven in New York to be more energy efficient and use cleaner fuels,” Bloomberg said. “I am proud to say that city government is leading by example, with the help of good corporate citizens such as the BMW Group.”

DSNY Commissioner John Doherty said the hybrid-electric vehicles - three collection trucks and one rack truck - ensure New York remains a leader in green sanitation solutions.

“The DSNY is proud to be the first city in the country to use these state-of-the-art hybrid vehicles,” Doherty said. “New York’s Strongest can also be known as New York’s Cleanest.”

Each truck cost $500,000, about twice as much as the current trucks used by DSNY. But because the city and federal government split the cost for each truck, Bloomberg said, the city is actually paying as much for the new high-tech vehicles as for the standard models.

Jim O’Donnell, the president of BMW of North America, who appeared at the ceremony, declined to say how much the Mini Es cars cost.

O’Donnell said their price would go public once field tests are completed and the vehicle hits market.

“We are delighted to be collaborating with the City of New York to improve mobility in one of the world’s largest, most complex, and important cities,” O’Donnell said. “Mayor Bloomberg’s plan for a greener and more sustainable New York is an innovative and exciting initiative.”

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