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Wow. Saving $80k per year is significant.
By ED MOORHOUSE
Burlington County Times
MEDFORD — Ten years ago, the first biodiesel-fueled school bus made its way through the streets of this township.
Today, the school district's fleet of more than
60 buses is fueled with biodiesel, which is made primarily from
soybeans, and district officials say it has resulted in a savings of
$80,000 per year.
The school district was honored yesterday by
the National Biodiesel Board and the United Soybean Board for its
commitment to using biodiesel instead of conventional diesel fuel for
the past 10 years.
“I'm glad to have something like this happen in
New Jersey,” said Rick Stern, the director of the United Soybean Board.
“The benefits have been tremendous and it makes this achievement
Joe Biluck, director of operations for the
Medford school district, said he began to research fuel alternatives
for the bus fleet 13 years ago.
“I began to realize there was an opportunity to
diminish the amount of harmful emissions our students were exposed to
every time they rode one of our school buses,” Biluck said.
School officials estimated the buses have
traveled more than 4 million miles and consumed 615,000 gallons of
biodiesel in the last 10 years, which has resulted in the elimination
of 127,000 pounds of hazardous emissions each year.
Medford school district was the first in the state to fuel its bus
fleet with biodiesel. More than 200 school districts now use biodiesel
for their buses nationwide, said Michael Frohlich, director of
communications for the National Biodiesel Board.
“If you were to just go down the road to a gas
station here in Medford, it would be $3.59 for conventional diesel,”
Frohlich said. “You're looking at about a dollar off of that price for
biodiesel. There is a substantial savings.”
Biluck said the school district was awarded a
$115,000 grant in 1997 by the state Department of Transportation to
research and test the biodiesel fuel technology in its buses.
“I wish I was able to sit here and say I was
able to predict this,” Biluck said. “Our approach as an innovative
district has been to keep trying to push. You're not always going to
get to first base, but this was a grand slam for us. If it didn't work,
we would have gone back to business the old-fashioned way. Fortunately
for us, it all fell into place.”