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LONG ISLAND CITY, N.Y. - Online food seller FreshDirect here said it will begin converting its 150-vehicle delivery fleet to biodiesel next month.
The retailer said yesterday it has signed a contract with Tri-State Biodiesel to begin conversion to biodiesel fueling in early January. The fleet will switch to B5, a blend of 5 percent biodiesel and 95 percent regular diesel. By February, the company plans to use B5 in its entire fleet.
Tri-State will supply the biodiesel blend, Fresh Direct said.
The retail food e-commerce specialist said it has been donating cooking oil from its kitchen to be used in Tri-State's non-toxic diesel fuel.
"Our trucks are a mass transit system for food in the communities we serve, and we are committed to make the fleet run as clean-burning and low- impact as possible," said Adrian Williams, FreshDirect's s.v.p. of transportation. "Our conversion to biodiesel is but one example of our company's environmental stewardship and support of a sustainable future for New York."
FreshDirect will also begin testing idling reduction technologies to allow truck engines to be turned off automatically after three minutes during loading and delivery. While FreshDirect strictly prohibits drivers from idling, this new functionality enforces compliance. By the end of the year 10 percent of FreshDirect's trucks will be running this technology.
"While both programs are in the pilot phase, we continue to improve on these environmental initiatives," said Williams. "These commitments demonstrate just a few of the ways we're working to make FreshDirect a sustainable company and a good neighbor within our community."
Founded in 1999, FreshDirect is one of the nation's leading online meals and fresh food manufacturing and delivery companies, currently serving most of Manhattan and parts of Queens, Brooklyn, and the Bronx, New York; Westchester, and Nassau Countyin New York; and parts of New Jersey.