- San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer recently announced that the city's entire collection fleet will run on compressed natural gas by 2022, as reported by The San Diego Union-Tribune.
- The city recently completed work on the second phase of a $5.3 million fueling station project that will eventually have capacity to fuel up to 152 vehicles at once. So far 13 individual stations have been built that can handle two trucks each.
- San Diego currently uses 20 CNG vehicles and plans to gradually replace the remaining 131 diesel vehicles. The city estimates annual savings of up to $1.5 million based on the latest fuel prices once all diesel vehicles are replaced.
This project was proposed as part of Faulconer's 2015 Climate Action Plan. That plan includes a goal of converting San Diego's entire municipal fleet to "zero emissions" vehicles by 2035, and the switch to CNG collection vehicles will put them well on the way to reaching it. The potential for significant emissions reduction has also attracted a $250,000 grant from the California Energy Commission.
In addition to the noise, emissions and cost reduction benefits, the potential efficiency savings from automated CNG filling stations has been attractive to many other companies and municipalities. Cities such as Atlanta and New York have begun adapting some of their vehicles to CNG, though finding enough space for the fueling stations can be challenging in more densely populated cities. Waste Management, Republic Services, Waste Connections, Advanced Disposal and a number of other corporate haulers have also been investing heavily in the CNG switch.
San Diego's CNG fleet will be busy in the coming years as the city works to meet a state mandate of 75% diversion by 2020, an internal government goal of 50% diversion by 2020 and broader municipal goal of "zero waste" by 2040.