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March 27, 2023

New collection trucks are more fuel efficient, cleaner

Courtesy of San Benito County Integrated Waste Management:

Residents of San Benito County will soon notice brand new collection vehicles servicing their recycling, organics and garbage containers in the coming weeks.

Beginning in April, Recology San Benito County will roll out 17 new vehicles over the course of the month, replacing the previous collection fleet. These new collection vehicles may look like ordinary trucks, but they’re powered by a clean-burning, efficient fuel: hydrogenated-derived renewable diesel.

The new fuel is not derived from fossil fuels, helping to keep San Benito County air cleaner while reducing dependence on limited non-renewable resources like petroleum oil and natural gas. Hydrogenated-derived renewable diesel is produced using fats and vegetable oils. This clean-burning fuel will help meet the state’s emission reduction requirements under Assembly Bill 32.

“Recology strives to provide customer-focused collection services without impacting the health of our community and environment,” said Phil Couchee, General Manager of Recology San Benito County. “These new vehicles help keep our air a little cleaner and help keep San Benito County a vibrant and healthy place.”

The benefits of renewable diesel include:

• Lower greenhouse gas emissions when compared to traditional diesel and Compressed Natural Gas (CNG).
• Better performance due to its higher combustion quality compared to conventional diesel.
• More cost-effective fleet compared to CNG Renewable diesel allows Recology to run a more cost-effective fleet while further reducing emissions. CNG engines are more expensive than diesel engines and have a shorter life expectancy.
• Widely available feedstock and reduced need for fossil fuels since the fuel can be produced using a variety of widely-available feedstock such as soybean oil, canola oil, animal tallow, or vegetable oil waste there is less dependence on fossil fuels.

“I appreciate that the new Recology trucks will be using a renewable fuel source that will be more cost-effective for Recology and the residents and businesses of San Benito County” said Mark Medina, chairman of the San Benito County Board of Supervisors. “It’s good to know that the cleaner burning fuel will keep the air healthier for our residents.”

In 2016, Recology commissioned a study by Ramboll/Environ to analyze fuel types. Of the three fuel types analyzed – renewable diesel, diesel, and CNG – renewable diesel had the lowest emission rate for three air pollutants, including Non-Methane Hydrocarbon (NMHC), Carbon Monoxide (CO), and Particulate Matter (PM). Renewable Diesel also has lower life-cycle emissions than CNG and traditional diesel. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), life-cycle emissions are “used to assess the overall greenhouse gas (GHG) impacts of a fuel, including each stage of its production and use.”

For more information, see https://www.epa.gov/renewable-fuel-standard-program/lifecycle-analysis-greenhouse-gas-emissions-under-renewable-fuel