Since installing our compressed natural gas (CNG) fueling station in 2010, Western has replaced twenty-eight of our older diesel collection trucks with clean burning natural gas vehicles. This is 47% of our fleet. We plan to purchase seven additional CNG replacement vehicles in 2016, which will take us to 58% conversion by year end. We have converted most of our supervisors’ pickup trucks, our fork lifts and skid steers to CNG as well.
Natural gas is a far cleaner fuel than diesel and it is a domestic fuel source. Natural gas vehicles produce 70% less carbon monoxide, 87% less non-methane organic gas and 87% less nitrogen oxide than diesel. Natural gas powered trucks are also quieter than diesel trucks.
The environmental benefits of running on clean burning natural gas are significant. According to the EPA, the effects on the communities we serve is equivalent to taking 5 cars off the road each year or planting 600 mature trees each year for each older diesel truck we replace with CNG. With the twenty-eight trucks we have replaced so far, we have removed the equivalent of one hundred-forty passenger vehicles or planted 16,800 new mature trees each year. When our conversion is fully complete our emission reduction benefit will be equivalent to planting more than 36,000 mature trees annually. We are happy to make this investment that is good for the environment and for the community.