New York state purchased a new, efficient oil filter to reduce its carbon footprint and add more green technology to its vehicles.

The microGreen Extended Performance Oil Filter by SOMS Technologies is now a preferred product through the New York State Office of General Services and the New York State Industries for the Disabled Inc. (NYSID). Being a preferred product means that state and local agencies can purchase the oil filter directly through NYSID without going through a bidding process.

According to Andy Grosso, NYSID's vice president of sales and marketing, to become a preferred product, the item must provide work for disabled New Yorkers. "One of the things is that the product is usually sourced in bulk and needs to be packaged, it may need to be assembled, it could be some manufacturing involved in the process, but there needs to be labor applied, if you will, to the offering," he said.

Grosso also said the other requirement is that the product must be priced competitively. "Those are two major criteria and our program, when you look at it, it's really a social program that was enacted in the state of New York to provide job training and jobs for New Yorkers with disabilities," he said.

The oil filter is the combination of a conventional filter with a second, patented microfilter system that's contained within a standard spin-on canister. According to the microGreen Web site, the microfilter captures particles as small as 2 microns.

With the new oil filters, New York estimates that its vehicles will be able to operate up to 30,000 miles without an oil change. Vehicle operating costs will be reduced by up to 65 percent, and the environment will benefit because the vehicles will use 70 percent less oil, which minimizes waste disposal.

According to Karen DiBella, contract and account administration manager of NYSID, the new oil filters have yet to be installed in any state vehicles. She said the oil filters were recently approved, and within a month of the approval, the agency sends a mailing to customers about new products, which hasn't been sent yet.

The microGreen filters are packaged two per box, and the cost of each box ranges from $33.47 to $66.45, DiBella said. NYSID has approximately 900 in stock in about 14 different sizes. "They are more expensive than your nongreen oil filter, but supposedly it's a cost savings because the oil doesn't have to be changed as frequently," she said. "Therefore, the investment you would keep putting into changing the filter and oil you're going to save because it lasts longer."

New York's green initiatives come in response to Gov. David Paterson's New York Executive Order No. 4, which directs state agencies to "promote cost-effective methods to reduce energy and resource consumption, and reduce or eliminate the use of hazardous substances and the generation of hazardous substances, pollution and waste at the source."

Elaine Rundle  |  Staff Writer