Governor Honors University of Washington Motor Pool
Gov. Gary Locke has honored the University of Washington’s (UW) Motor Pool with the Governor’s Award for Pollution Prevention and Sustainable Practices. David Carr is the manager of motor pool operations for the University of Washington.The awards recognize businesses, agencies and organizations that reach high environmental protection goals – conserving vital resources such as energy and water and reducing or eliminating hazardous waste – while making products and providing services. The UW Motor Pool and six other winners were recognized for preventing pollution and using business practices that are “sustainable” – those that support the vitality of the economy, the environment and the community. State Department of Ecology Director Linda Hoffman presented the awards with Tom Fitzsimmons, Gov. Locke’s Chief of Staff.The facility’s sustainable practice efforts apply to all aspects of fleet management, from a nearly paperless reservations system to using soap and hot water instead of chemical solvent for parts cleaning. Much of the fleet runs on re-refined motor oil, about 9,000 gallons each year. The motor pool recycles everything it can, including oil, antifreeze, lead-acid batteries, even the toner cartridges used in the office.Recycling the spent antifreeze has reduced new antifreeze purchases by 300-600 gallons per year. Also, changing to the soap and water parts washer means 400 less gallons of solvent purchased each year. No solvent used also means no disposal costs and no exposure to solvent fumes for employees.The motor pool switched to more fuel-efficient buses for the Health Science Express. The engines produce 60- to 80-percent fewer exhaust emissions, 20-percent less nitrogen dioxide (a greenhouse gas), and 30-percent fewer particulates. In addition, there is a “no-idling” policy for UW buses and diesel trucks operating on campus.Fitzsimmons acknowledged the winners’ financial and professional effort, and applauded their hard work, saying, “Our grandchildren should inherit a clean environment, a good economy and healthy communities. This vision takes effort and costs money — we know that, and we deeply thank you for your investment.”This year’s winners were selected from 25 applicants by a panel of judges. The judges included a past award-winner, conservation and pollution prevention experts, and representatives from labor, and environmental groups. The judges evaluated the entries on how they reduced the use of toxic materials and the waste created, increased their use of renewable and recycled materials, conserved energy and switched to renewable energy sources, conserved water, and minimized the environmental effects of a product throughout its life cycle.