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Seattle Cleans Up Garbage Trucks: DOCs and Biodiesel to Cut Emissions

Seattle Mayor Greg Nickels announced that the city’s garbage and recycling trucks are upgrading their exhaust systems and switching to a B20 biodiesel/ultra-low sulfur diesel (ULSD) blend fuel in an on-going effort to reduce emissions.

Seattle’s solid waste fleet, contracted through Rabanco and Waste Management, totals 180 recycling and garbage trucks. During the next six months these diesel trucks will be retrofitted with diesel oxidation catalysts (DOCs) to reduce toxic tailpipe emissions.

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%.

In addition, half the fleet will begin using a B20 (20% biodiesel) blend, funded by Seattle City Light (the city electric utility) as part of its program to mitigate its greenhouse gas emissions.

Nickels was the organizer of the bipartisan US Mayors Climate Protection Agreement coalition, which is working to achieve what would have been the Kyoto Protocol’s US target for reductions in greenhouse gases (7%) in the member communities. (Earlier post.)


Mikhail Capone

"When combined with ultra-low sulfur diesel, emissions of fine particulates and toxic air pollutants are reduced by as much as 90%."

Impressive! This should be done to all heavy diesel trucks that don't already have that tech + biodiesel.

recycling decals

We’ ve gone as green as possible in the office by printing out only files we need to have hard copies of, we encourage other wedding professionals to send‘ brouchures’ online (as they’ re conserving paper, we can keep more up- to- date information and they take up less file space), we recycle our ink cartridges, and magazines and we’ re working on a new project to shred all our paper waste and compost it with our lawn clippings.

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