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Environmentally Preferred Purchasing photo identifier

Environmentally Preferred Purchasing

Automotive Products and Vehicles

Many opportunities for purchasing fuel efficient tires, hybrid vehicles, re-refined motor oil, recycled antifreeze and lead-free wheel weights are available to government purchasers.

Fuel Efficient Tires

Tires with lower rolling resistance allow vehicles to roll more easily on the road, which creates better fuel efficiency and reduces greenhouse gas emissions. In 2007, the Washington State Legislature required that replacement tires for the state motor fleet must have the same or better rolling resistance than the original tires.

Fuel efficient tires:
  • Save on fuel. For example, the state of California has the potential of saving about 300 million gallons of gasoline per year by switching to fuel efficient tires. See California Energy Commission's Fuel Efficient Tire Proceeding.
  • May be priced at $5 to $12 more per set of four than conventional tires of similar size. They are cost effective over the life of the vehicle due to fuel savings.
Fuel efficient tires are available on state contract 01712.

See Ecology's product fact sheet on Fuel Efficient Tires for more information.

Retread Tires

Heavy-duty equipment and truck tires can be retreaded repeatedly. Retreading results in significant savings, resource conservation and equal performance. Retread medium and heavy duty tires:
  • Cost 30 to 50 percent less than virgin tires. Clark County, Washington saved $12,000 in 2008 by purchasing retreads.
  • Reduces tire disposal fees since most of the tire is reused.
  • Increase fuel economy.
State contract 02806 offers tire retreading services. One purpose of this contract is on-going reduction in the state's overall tire cost and encouraging fleets to establish tire management programs.

Hybrid and Flex-Fuel Vehicles

Many state and local government agencies are transitioning their fleets over to hybrid cars, trucks, and buses, and plug-in hybrid/electric passenger vehicles. Hybrids cost more initially but save money by cutting fuel use by up to 50% and having a higher resale value.

In 2011, the City of Spokane purchased four hybrid trucks for collecting recyclables. The hybrids cost about six percent more than conventional trucks and are expected to get 30 percent better fuel efficiency. City officials estimate that the extra cost of the trucks will be paid for in less than four years, which includes savings from the longer brake life of the hybrid trucks.

Hybrid vehicles are available on state contract 06412.

See Ecology's product fact sheet for more information on Vehicles.

Recycled Antifreeze

Recycled antifreeze costs considerably less than virgin antifreeze and performs to the same quality specifications.

King County saved over $17,175 by purchasing recycled antifreeze instead of virgin product in 2010. King County recycled all of its used antifreeze at no cost.

Recycled antifreeze is available from specialty antifreeze recyclers and many auto suppliers. Ask for recycled antifreeze that meets or exceeds ASTM D-3306 for passenger cars and D-6210 for heavy duty engines. Antifreeze is not sold on state contract.

See Ecology's product fact sheet for more information on Recycled Antifreeze.

Re-refined Motor Oil

Purchasing re-refined motor oil is an easy, cost neutral way for agencies to conserve a non-renewable resource - petroleum. Yet, many agencies continue to use virgin motor oil due to outdated ideas that re-refined oil performs poorly or is more expensive. Re-refined motor oil is a good choice because:
  • No documented difference in purchase price exists.
  • It performs at the same high quality level as virgin motor oil.
State motor oil contracts # 09005 and 02411 offer re-refined oil.

See Ecology's product fact sheet for more information on Re-refined Motor Oil.

Wheel Weights

Lead wheel weights are banned for use in Washington State in Chapter 70.270 to reduce the amount of toxic lead that enters our soil and waterways. All wheel weights abrade during use, but steel weights are the preferred choice for lower toxicity. Purchasing considerations include:
  • Steel weights are slightly more expensive, but are more durable, so need to be replaced less often.
  • All wheel weights perform similarly and improve tire life when applied correctly.
Steel wheel weights are available on state contract 01809. All lead wheel weights are required to be recycled when they are removed from vehicles.

See Ecology's product fact sheet for more information on Wheel Weights.

Automotive Products and Vehicles

For Buy Green technical assistance, contact:

Tina Simcich
Email: tinasimcich@ecy.wa.gov
(360) 407-7517