RICHMOND, VA - The City of Richmond, Va., expects to realize a $1 million savings in fuel, maintenance, and personnel costs with the addition of new compressed natural gas (CNG)-powered refuse vehicles to its fleet.
McNeilus Companies, Inc. announced in December it is supplying the City with its first 25 CNG-powered refuse vehicles, along with a complete maintenance program for the vehicles. The vehicles are scheduled to arrive this month.
As a member of the U.S. Department of Energy's Clean Cities program - a government-industry partnership formed to reduce petroleum consumption in the transportation sector - Richmond saw an opportunity to make a difference through the use of alternative-fuel-powered vehicles.
"We took this opportunity to analyze our overall fleet and how we ran our routes and realized we could shift from low-compaction trucks to a smaller number of higher-compaction trucks," said Letitia Shelton, Richmond interim public works director. "This will reduce the refuse truck fleet from 38 to 25 and our routes from 109 to 88. We will also realize a savings in fuel and personnel costs."
Shelton said that employee morale has increased considerably with the anticipation of the new trucks.
To further streamline Richmond's move to CNG, the City is installing its own CNG fueling station, which will refuel refuse vehicles, as well as public transit buses.
Hundreds of McNeilus CNG refuse vehicles are currently on routes throughout the country, with large concentrations along both coasts, according to the company.