Did you know that the City of Spokane’s Fleet Services Department is now using re-refined motor oil for all City-owned vehicles, as part of ongoing work at the City to implement sustainable practices? I didn’t either, but a news release just sent out says the City will spend an additional $2,300 a year to buy the re-refined oil, which typically costs about 25 cents more per gallon than new motor oil. The City has about 1,400 vehicles in its fleet and uses about 9,200 gallons of oil annually.

Less energy is required to produce a gallon of re-refined motor oil than motor oil directly from crude oil. According to the release, buying re-refined oil reduces U.S. dependence on foreign oil, conserves natural resources, eliminates a waste material, and helps create jobs.

Since Mayor Verner took office, the City has implemented a series of steps to be more ‘sustainable.’ Some recent examples include:

– Community Gardens in East Central and Hillyard opened last summer on vacant Water Department property.
– Recycled glass was used in the subgrade as part of the reconstruction of Market Street.
– A $100 rebate was offered to citizens who agreed to remove 1,000 square feet of lawn and replace it with xeriscaping or similar water-conserving landscaping.
– A Green Building Resource Center was opened in City Hall, and a sustainability collection was added at the Downtown Library.
– The addition of new technology that powers down employees’ personal computers when not in use.

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