Environmental Industry Association (EIA) selected Sanitation Driver II Junius Hawkins for the 2006 Driver of the Year Award, a national award honoring waste industry drivers who are committed to safety, quality and service. Hawkins is the fourth San Diego driver selected for the honor in the past seven years that the City has participated in the competition.. Johnny Rushing won the City's first award in 1999, followed by Michael Maloney in 2000 and Enrique Rojas in 2002. No other city or private-sector waste company in the EIA competition has produced more than two Driver of the Year winners.
FleetOwner magazine named the Collection Services Division "2005 Vocational Fleet of the Year" to give public recognition for a "truly innovate approach to truck fleet management."
An article in the December 2005 issue said that "few if any have rose to the multifaceted challenge" of municipal fleet management, and cited three initiatives launched in 2005 that benefit San Diego residents and lowered operational costs: rerouting of trash trucks, which will save $10 million over 10 years from the City's General Fund; environmental "credits" secured form the California Air Resources Board (CARB) in recognition of the fleet's pioneering and ongoing efforts to field lower-emission vehicles; and shortening the collection vehicle operational cycle from seven to five years to save on maintenance costs. The magazine, which is written for executives and managers of commercial trucking fleets, also recognized the Division's expertise in emissions technology and pioneering efforts to run lower-emission vehicles such as ultra-low sulfur trucks.
The City of San Diego's energy conservation and management program was recognized on as a leader in energy efficiency with a 2005 Flex Your Power Award, presented by Flex Your Power, California's statewide energy efficiency campaign. A total of 35 businesses, local governments and institutions were selected from a highly competitive pool of over 260 applications. On October 23, 2005, a congratulatory advertisement appeared in the San Diego Union-Tribune.
The City's energy program saved 24 million kilowatt-hours and $3.5 million annually since 2001. As part of its program, San Diego requires that all municipal construction meet Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Silver standards. In 2005, the City renovated its police headquarters making it virtually energy independent. The building uses multiple-speed fans, window tinting, and an energy management system. Cogeneration and photvoltaics provide much of the facility's electrical, heating and cooling needs.