Gassing up garbage

A few of Grand Junction’s garbage trucks are getting gas — compressed natural gas, that is.

The City Council’s decision Monday to approve the purchase of four natural-gas-fueled garbage trucks is the first step in a much larger program that is likely to produce benefits to the city, the environment and to an important local industry.

Along with the purchase of the four new garbage trucks, which are to be delivered in 10 months, the city will begin work on a compressed-natural-gas fueling station. The city hopes to gradually switch its entire fleet of diesel garbage trucks to compressed natural gas. And, if all goes as planned, city officials also plan to make the fueling station available to other local governments and private businesses that want to convert to natural gas vehicles.

But the city’s vision for expanding its involvement in gas fuels doesn’t end there. City Manager Laurie Kadrich said the city has already begun working with consultants and utilities to examine the possibility of capturing gases that are a by-product of sewage treatment at the Persigo Wash Wastewater Treatment Plant. The project could help the city reduce its overall utility costs.

This is a forward-looking approach that is likely to pay dividends for the city and this region in the long run. We hope the city will also look soon to converting its large fleet of pickup trucks.

Vehicles that operate on natural gas run cleaner than those using other fossil fuels. When it comes to this valley’s winter inversions, running vehicles on natural gas would be a great boon.

Natural-gas-powered vehicles also emit less carbon dioxide. And capturing emissions from the Persigo plant would also help to reduce global warming gases.

Additionally, by creating a local fueling station for compressed natural gas, the city will encourage others to convert their fleets, increasing demand for the region’s natural gas. The city’s natural gas endeavors are definitely projects worth pursuing.


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