Clean Fleet Profile: Utah Waste Management Company Touts CNG Trucks

By Lauren Tyler, NGT News.

Aiming to reduce vehicle emissions and promote sustainability in the Salt Lake Valley, the Wasatch Front Waste & Recycling District (WFWRD) in Utah has fully transitioned its residential collection truck fleet away from diesel fuel to be powered, instead, by compressed natural gas (CNG).

Serving the unincorporated areas of Salt Lake County and the cities of Taylorsville, Cottonwood Heights, Holladay, Herriman, and portions of Murray and Sandy, the WFWRD currently operates 46 residential side-load collection trucks and two front loaders that, as of August 2016, all run on natural gas fuel.

As noted, the trucks are all built on the Peterbilt 320 chassis, with the majority featuring 11.9-liter ISX-G Cummins motors and either Agility or NextGen CNG systems.

According to Pam Roberts, executive director of the WFWRD, the company chose to shift to CNG despite the vehicles’ higher price tag in order to dramatically reduce greenhouse-gas emissions and to save on fuel costs over the long term.

“We started the transition to CNG in [December] 2011 because we wanted to do the right thing for our environment and save money for the residents we serve,” she says. “It was quite a commitment, since CNG garbage trucks cost $30,000 more than diesel trucks. We definitely took into account that garbage trucks generally get 2 miles per gallon, no matter what type of fuel we use.”