City's biodiesel use earns national recognition

The U.S. Department of Energy Clean Cities Program honored the City of Tacoma as a Northwest leader in the use of biodiesel.
Fleet Manager Steve Hennessey received Tacoma’s National Partner Award at the Clean Cities Conference in Oklahoma City on May 13.
The national award, which recognizes companies, individuals, organizations, cities and states striving to make alternative fuel use a reality in communities throughout the United States, was presented to Tacoma for its use of biodiesel in its 85-truck garbage and recycling fleet and for promoting biodiesel throughout the Puget Sound region.
“We’re pleased to be recognized as leaders in the Northwest,” Hennessey said.
He continued: “It’s great to be on the forefront of alternative fuel use, knowing we’re making a positive impact on our environment.”
Biodiesel, a renewable and sustainable resource made from soybean oil, offers many environmental and financial benefits.
Since the conversion to biodiesel last November, Tacoma’s garbage and recycling trucks have helped produce cleaner air by emitting fewer harmful pollutants such as carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, sulfur dioxide and hydrocarbons.
In its pure form, biodiesel degrades at the same rate as sugar and is 10 times less toxic than table salt.
Tacoma’s trucks use a blend of 80 percent diesel and 20 percent biodiesel.
That mix, called B20, requires no engine modifications-making it a cost-effective alternative fuel.
Along with the award, the Department of Energy inducted Tacoma into the Clean Cities Hall of Fame for its biodiesel program.