When he was Commissioner of the NYC Sanitation Department in the late 1980s, Brendan launched the first waste recycling program in the country and hired the first female uniform workers. He also purchased the first natural gas refuse trucks when he realized that the exhaust from DSNY’s diesel-burning trucks was a recognized trigger for asthma, “a major killer of poor urban children.”
These trucks were experimental back then. But, Brendan said in testimony before the city council in 2018, “after two decades of development, not only do natural gas engines work as well or better than diesels but they can take advantage of a fuel even cleaner than conventional natural gas. That is renewable natural gas made from organic wastes. We do not have to wait for electric battery technology to mature. Trucks powered with renewable natural gas are available off the shelf NOW, are competitively priced, and are increasingly the choice of professionals in the field.”
Brendan worked tirelessly with Energy Vision to advance the production of RNG fuel and the use of RNG-fueled trucks in New York State. His management skills and humor also helped us steadily grow our organization. We will miss him greatly.