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LiveSmart BC Community Feature
Williams Lake Kicks Idling Habit
Concerns over air quality and escalating fuel costs drove the City of Williams Lake to take action to green its fleet.
So says Danny Moxey, deputy director of municipal services in Williams Lake.
He explains that the City wanted to take a leadership role in reducing greenhouse gas emissions in the community, and it has done just that.
City Council approved an Idle Free Policy in April 2006. It applies to all City equipment and vehicles, including transit vehicles. The policy sets procedures for vehicle warm-up and field operations, and limits or eliminates idling, depending on the operating circumstances.
“As the old habits of idling began to change, the staff began to police themselves,” said Moxey. He attributes the ongoing success of the program to the positive attitude of equipment operators.
In addition to changing staff habits, the policy has educated the community about the impacts of idling.
“We held an Idle Free workshop and luncheon with the Williams Lake business community to explain the initiative and our successes,” said Moxey. The workshop attracted representatives from the Ministry of Forests and Range, the local school district and local sawmills. Local newspaper articles and Idle Free signage have also helped spread the word.
“There is awareness in the community that idling generates harmful emissions, wastes fuel, reduces engine life, is revenue negative and can easily be minimized,” said Moxey.
City fuel consumption comparisons after one year shows an average of 20 per cent savings in fuel usage. Vehicle maintenance costs have also gone down by approximately 20 per cent.
“Working conditions in the Public Works Yard have improved due to fewer GHG emissions, less noise pollution and very few complaints of diesel smell in the building from exhaust gases being drawn into the HVAC system,” said Moxey.
Since implementing the Idle Free Policy, the City has also made significant efforts to green its fleet with fuel efficient and hybrid vehicles.
For more information on the green fleet initiatives in Williams Lake, visit the BC Climate Action Toolkit.