If a staff report is adopted the first 10 of Hamilton’s fleet of 37 currently diesel-powered garbage trucks will convert to compressed natural gas (CNG). Staff say even though the cleaner operating trucks cost about $60,000 more than a diesel truck they switch to CNG will save about $70,000 a year in fuel costs.
The recommendation also calls for the city to enter into a contract with a company that will supply the specialized equipment needed to refuel the vehicles. The slow fill CNG station will result in less time to refuel vehicles. With the diesel trucks staff would use a City owned fuel station on their collection
route. In some instances, staff would modify their route to get to a City fuel site. The refuelling process, including travel could take 15 minutes or more. Under the new system staff will simply attach a fuel nozzle to the vehicle at the end of their shift. The refilling process will happen overnight during low peak energy consumption applicable rates.
Staff considered a switch to electric battery powered vehicles but noted, “The trucks are either currently not available in an electric option that will suit the operating departments requirements or are cost prohibitive. In the meantime, the short term option of purchasing 10 CNG powered waste collection trucks will bridge the gap and continue the City on the path towards reducing Green House Gasses.
The recommended switch to CNG will result in a net reduction of GHG emissions
of 99 tonnes annually and is not expected to have any negative operational impacts.
The average lifespan of a garbage truck is about seven years.