- The City of Spokane, WA rolled out its newest compressed natural gas (CNG) garbage trucks this week. The city will replace 90 trucks over the next seven years, cutting its greenhouse gas emissions by 20%.
- At $360,000 a piece, CNG trucks cost $30,000 more than standard diesel, but the city says that cost is recouped in three years through fuel and maintenance savings. The CNG trucks will last about 10 years and the gas tanks have to be certified every five years.
- While CNG trucks aren't necessarily more fuel efficient, gas is $1 a gallon cheaper than diesel. The trucks will fill up at Avista Utilities until the city finishes a refueling station at its new utility central service center in about two weeks.
The conversion to CNG trucks is a growing trend across the industry, allowing for companies to save costs. Republic Services' second-quarter earnings report showed that 15% of its fleet operates on natural gas, which has saved the company significant money while improving productivity.
"One of the things you're going to notice is the emissions package on these trucks, much smaller, much tighter, much less maintenance than compared to a diesel powered truck so it's huge for us," said Scott Windsor, director of Solid Waste Collections in Spokane.
With the savings and the added benefits of a quieter, smoother ride, the vehicles are here to stay.