- Atlanta has opened a new compressed natural gas (CNG) filling station at its Solid Waste Lakewood Facility, which can service up to 20 vehicles overnight.
- Officials estimate this will provide up to 50% savings in fuel costs for the city and reduce carbon emissions by 13%-21%, helping Atlanta with its sustainability goals.
- This is the city's second CNG facility. Both were built by the Atlanta Gas Light Co. using $2.5 million from a statewide program to develop more CNG stations.
While diesel prices remain low, a recent report from BCC Research confirmed that CNG is still very competitive. Long-term cost savings outweigh other fuels and emissions are much lower. A federal tax credit for alternative fuels, passed as part of the Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes Act, has helped make CNG even more attractive.
The technology is not without issues—most notably an exploding CNG truck in New Jersey earlier this year—but it has become very popular among corporate and municipal fleets. Waste Management, Republic Services, and Advanced Disposal have all begun moving toward CNG. New York's Department of Sanitation has started introducing CNG vehicles to its fleet as well.
In an interview with Bloomberg last year, Waste Management CEO David Steiner said his company sees CNG trucks as the way of the future. He predicted that once government can provide more incentives to create a wider network of filling stations the technology will truly take off.
"Then you will see everyone turn to natural gas because, from a heavy-duty fleet point of view, it makes great economic sense," said Steiner.