The Monroe County Sheriff's Office has been taking steps to “go green” in an effort to benefit the environment and save money.
Sheriff Bob Peryam recently authorized the purchase of four Ford Escape Hybrid vehicles.
The hybrid vehicles use electricity generated as the car is braking to charge batteries in the back of the vehicle. This electricity is then used to supplement the operation of the vehicle — for instance, for starting and stopping, and while sitting at traffic lights. The supplemental use of the electric batteries in this fashion helps increase the gas mileage of the car. The Ford Escape Hybrid gets approximately 31 miles per gallon on the highway and 34 miles per gallon in the city.
The four hybrid vehicles will be used to for mostly administrative purposes, replacing Crown Victorias now being used. Crown Victorias get an average of 15 miles per gallon in the city and 23 on the highway.
In addition to purchasing the hybrids, the sheriff’s office — with the help of Waste Management and its general manager, Greg Sullivan — has begun a full-blown office recycling program.
Investigator Janine Gedmin oversees the program, and she estimates that the main headquarters on Stock Island has reduced its garbage output by 80 percent in just a few weeks by recycling office paper, cans and bottles.
The reduction in the amount of trash hauled away by Waste Management should result in a significant reduction in the amount of money the sheriff’s office pays for trash removal.
Peryam has also directed staff to look into the possibility of using solar energy to heat water at the main detention facility on Stock Island.