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D.C. Opens First Compost Site, Adds Anti-Idling Technology to Police Cars
April 24, 2013
by Don Baxter
DC City Buzz Examiner

On the heels of Earth Day, in a continuing effort to make the District of Columbia the healthiest, greenest and most livable city in the country, D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray and city officials announced the opening of a new organic compost site Wednesday.

At the beginning of April, the Department of Public Works (DPW) began helping hotels, restaurants and grocery stores expand composting of organic waste. Since then, the Benning Road transfer station has collected more than 177 tons of food waste and transferred to a Richmond, Virginia compost facility.

“By composting this material, nutrients in the food are turned into soil materials to nourish the land. There will be more expansive uses [of the compost] in the future, as we discover and institutionalize ways of converting this waste into energy,” said Mayor Gray.

D.C. residents can also participate in the city’s increased composting efforts by using Compost Cab. For a monthly fee, the company will deliver a composting kit to your front door. The kit includes a collection bin and compostable liner, which is picked up once a week on a schedule similar to trash collection.

Mayor Gray launched the Sustainable DC Plan in February with 143 specific actions. Since the launch, the city has taken action on 66 of the 143 goals.

In addition to the composting site, Gray also announced new green technology for the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD). To save fuel and reduce air pollution, the department is testing advanced battery and anti-idling technology on 75 vehicles.

Police vehicles often idle for long periods while in use. Idling consumes fuel and emits gases that are known to harm the atmosphere. The new anti-idling controls will allow necessary functions of the vehicles, such as overhead lights and computer terminals, to operate without the engine running.

Gray said the new technology will “reduce air pollution, save fuel and of course save money. And even more so, extend the life of these vehicles.”

If the technology is successful, city officials hope to expand the use of the technology throughout the government’s fleet.

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