Randall's Island Park

Parks Paves The Way For Reduced Emissions

Tuesday, May 22, 2007
No. 65

Parks & Recreation today hosted its 19th Annual Vehicle and Equipment Show on Randall’s Island. Over 130 vendors presented the latest in light, medium and heavy-duty vehicles, with an emphasis on clean and alternative fuel technologies.

"Parks is delighted to host our 19th annual fleet and vehicle show and highlight some of the most advanced alternative fuel technologies available," said Commissioner Adrian Benepe. "Parks is dedicated to greening our city and you can’t get any greener than having a clean fleet. All of our efforts combined with others across the city will help to realize Mayor Bloomberg’s PlaNYC initiative to improve the City’s air quality."

A special section at the show featured biodiesel trucks, hybrid and solar-powered vehicles, and electric equipment, among others. The show featured the first examples we have shown of hybrid medium-duty trucks (previously we have shown mostly light duty).

Parks is actively involved with Mayor Bloomberg’s PlaNYC initiative to clean the City’s air and is pursuing a number of initiatives to "clean its fleet." Parks is the first City agency to use biodiesel agency-wide—all 650 of our trucks now use biodiesel. Biodiesel is made in the U.S. from organic sources, burns cleaner than regular fuel and is renewable. Parks currently uses biodiesel made from soybean oil and was the first City agency to combine the ultra low sulfur diesel with biodiesel. This summer we will be piloting Biodiesel 50 at Orchard Beach—if successful we hope to use higher percentages of biodiesel in warmer months. In addition, in partnership with the Department of Transportation, new Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) fueling sites will soon be operational at our Central Park and Flushing Meadows Corona Park garages.

We are also installing emission reduction equipment on many of our vehicles. This winter we will install 180 diesel oxidation catalysts (DOCs) on existing diesel trucks. These reduce harmful emissions approximately 20% and will work in tandem with biodiesel. Our 15 new tree trimmers and 15 chipper dumps will come equipped with DOCs. We will receive 48 new trucks in 2007 that will have diesel particulate filters (DPFs)—which reduce emissions up to 90%. In the next few years, we will work to ensure that all diesel trucks have these technologies.

By the end of 2007, we will operate 487 alternative light duty vehicles, which includes sedans, SUVs, pick-ups, gem carts, and vans. In addition, we operate electric and CNG forklifts, as well as electric platform lifts, a sweeper, a floor scrubber and will be installing two electric trams in Queens. We also acquired two solar-powered utility vehicles—the City’s first—earlier in the month.

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