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Portage to upgrade maintenance garage to handle future fleet of CNG garbage trucks

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CITY OF PORTAGE, IN
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The city of Portage is getting ready to transition its garbage truck fleet to compressed natural gas (CNG). The board of works Tuesday agreed to hire Crowley Engineering to design plans to convert a building at the Streets & Sanitation Department into a CNG maintenance garage.

Greg Crowley said because the fuel is lighter than air, additional safeguards are required. "What's most important is to really try to avoid any type of electrical hazards and/or open flames inside these types of repair facilities," he explained.

That includes replacing the existing heating units with radiant floor heating and installing a gas monitoring system.

Crowley said CNG has lower carbon emissions than diesel and costs significantly less. Last year, Portage got a grant from the Indiana Volkswagen Environmental Mitigation Trust Fund to help purchase seven CNG garbage trucks. The first trucks are expected to arrive this fall.