Seattle is on the move! Already a leader in recycling, soon to start recycling/composting food waste on a large scale (we wrote about this here
), the city is now cleaning up its garbage truck fleet. Mayor Greg Nickels has announced that the garbage and recycling trucks will upgrade their exhaust by retrofitting diesel oxidation catalysts and start using a blend of ultra-low sulfur diesel (80%) and biodiesel
(20%). In the words of Mike from Green Car Congress
: "A diesel oxidation catalyst is a flow-through device installed on the exhaust pipe. As exhaust gases pass through it, the catalyst, carbon monoxide, gaseous hydrocarbons and liquid hydrocarbon particles (unburned fuel and oil) oxidize, thereby reducing emissions. When combined with ultra-low sulfur diesel, emissions of fine particulates and toxic air pollutants are reduced by as much as 90%."If a 90% improvement in emissions can be accomplished without having to buy new trucks, I don't see why cities of all sizes don't jump on the occasion to do something good for their citizens and nature.
We particularly would like to see this done on those old yellow school buses. We have read numerous times that a high amount of particulate matter coming from diesel exhaust is present in the air that children breathe inside and outside the buses.
Here is a study by the Clean Air Task Force on particulate matter in school buses.
Diesel exhaust is a major source of combustion particles that contribute to poor air quality nationwide. Since almost all school buses are operated with diesel engines, diesel engine exhaust can thus also be a source of concern, specifically with regard to exposure to children. Diesel particulate matter (DPM) is a complex and unhealthy mixture of inorganic and organic carbon particles with adhered toxic substances and metals.
::Seattle Converts Garbage Trucks To Cut Pollution , via ::Green Car Congress