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New Hampshire City’s Trash Trucks May Go Green

August 05, 2010

A partnership between the city of Nashua, N.H., and UPS could result in a significant green initiative, as the city looks to replace its diesel-fueled trash trucks with vehicles that run on compressed natural gas, according to the Nashua Telegraph.

Nashua Mayor Donnalee Lozeau's plan to replace the trucks with ones that operate on CNG came from a fleet assessment the city just completed. The assessment showed that CNG trucks last 25 percent longer, they run cleaner, and their maintenance requirements are significantly more economical than their diesel-fueled counterparts.

Trucks fueled by natural gas cost $25,000 to $40,000 more than the $175,000 cost of a diesel-fueled trash truck. But the additional cost would be recouped in fuel, repair and replacement costs.

The city has also struck a deal with the state Department of Environmental Services to pay the difference in costs. The money will come from a program in place designed to encourage communities to buy vehicles that run on cleaner fuel.

A big problem is that CNG fueling stations are rare and exist only in areas with a critical mass of CNG vehicles. UPS recently indicated it would love to bring CNG vehicles to Nashua, if not for the lack of a local fueling station.

With the partnership, the city could get a permanent CNG fueling station, not a portable one, for the UPS trucks and city vehicles.

If successful, the initiative could save the city and its private partners millions in fuel, maintenance and replacement costs.

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