To supply County refuse trucks and other heavy equipment with an improved fueling supply and facility, construction on a new Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) station will begin within the next few months at the County’s Department of Waste Management and Recycling (WMR) corporation yard off Bradshaw Road.
“The vehicles that run on natural gas emit only a fraction of the emissions of diesel fuel and save the County and rate payers money,” said Paul Philleo, Director of Waste Management and Recycling. “The new CNG station will also save even more time and increase reliability compared to the fueling system we are currently using.”
With the current Liquid Natural Gas (LNG) system located at the North Area Recovery Station, the County must shuttle the gas to other locations and the shuttle can only hold enough fuel to operate their fleet for one day. With the new CNG station, the County can tap directly into a PG&E pipeline, gaining constant access to the fuel. The new station will provide a more reliable fuel source in addition to cutting the $150,000 per year cost to shuttle the LNG fuel to other locations.
With the shuttle, drivers must wait in order to fill up the vehicle each day when they finish their routes. The new CNG station will have enough nozzles for multiple vehicles to fill up at the same time. Drivers simply arrive at the station, plug in the nozzle and the vehicle will fill overnight while they are away.
WMR has nearly 40 side loaders, rear loaders and knuckle boom trucks (garbage trucks) at its south yard that all run on LNG. Due to wear and tear, they replace about 10 percent of their fleet each year. As the current LNG vehicles are taken out of commission, they will be replaced with new CNG vehicles until the entire south fleet is converted. It is expected to take about four years to switch the entire WMR south fleet to side loaders that run on CNG.
The LNG station will continue to operate in order to fuel the long haul tractors and the north side-loaders, but eventually, the County hopes to convert more of their vehicles to CNG engines.
“This station could potentially be used by the Department of Transportation, Water Resources and others,” said Philleo. “Waste Management and Recycling is not the only department with vehicles that can convert to natural gas and benefit from this new station.”