San Francisco trash fleet moves to alternative fuel power exclusively
San Francisco doesn’t burn straight diesel in garbage trucks. Not anymore. Their entire fleet of collection and transfer trucks, 385 trucks runs on alternative fuels.
The garbage and recycling companies serving the city actively test and use alternatives to conventional fuels. In 2001 they built the first liquefied natural gas fueling station in the Bay Area. San Francisco uses LNG, a cryogenic fuel, in five collection trucks and in eight transfer trucks.
In March of 2007 they switched the remainder of their truck fleet to biodiesel. The biodiesel is B-20, a blended fuel including 20 percent biodiesel made from vegetable oil and 80 percent low-sulfur diesel. Stricter environmental standards for diesel fuels, improved engine technologies, catalytic converters and alternative fuels all help reduce truck emissions.
The San Francisco garbage companies —Sunset Scavenger, Golden Gate Disposal & Recycling and S.F. Recycling & Disposal, Inc. — will continue to explore ways to reduce emissions.
In the future they hope to harvest energy from the compostable materials collected and use a portion of that energy to power the trucks.