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Planning and Sustainability

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Phone: 503-823-7700

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1900 SW 4th Ave, Suite 7100, Portland, OR 97201

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An investment in fresher air

In 2008, City Council approved BPS clean fleet requirements for residential garbage, recycling and composting companies to follow when purchasing new trucks. Over the last seven years, these companies have been phasing in new trucks that release 90 percent less of the emissions that cause climate change, smog and soot.

Beginning this year, garbage, recycling and composting companies are required to replace trucks 12 years or older with new, more energy efficient vehicles. While it may sound counterintuitive to our reuse ethic, newer diesel engines are much cleaner than older trucks.

BPS staff conducted site visits to all 15 residential garbage, recycling and composting companies last fall to determine compliance with the 2016 residential clean fleet requirements. At these site visits, staff identified trucks, including older trucks, which can only be used as backup trucks on residential routes. Beginning in 2018, BPS will visit commercial garbage, recycling and composting companies to inspect and ensure trucks that are subject to the clean fleet requirements are in compliance.

Diesel trucks are required to use a minimum of 20 percent biodiesel, which reduces carbon emissions from the fuel used for collection services by 15 percent. Nearly half of Portland’s residential customers’ garbage, recycling and compost is collected by trucks using compressed natural gas, an even cleaner-burning fuel. As fueling infrastructure becomes available, we expect to see more haulers choose this more efficient, lower-cost fuel type.