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Portage reports cost savings with first CNG garbage truck

screenshot from City of Portage YouTube video
Street Superintendent Randy Reeder discusses the transition to compressed natural gas garbage trucks during the September 6 city council meeting.

The city of Portage is already seeing a cost savings by moving its garbage truck fleet to compressed natural gas. Street Superintendent Randy Reeder says the city's first CNG truck costs the city less than $27 per day in fuel costs, compared to almost $91 for the city's newest diesel truck.

"Our CNG used, during those two days, 20.3 gallons of equivalent CNG at a cost of $2.64 per gallon, and that's incredible when we look at that," Reeder told the city council Tuesday.

And he expects that cost to drop by at least half once Portage completes its own CNG fill station. Plus, there are grant opportunities to lower the city's cost even further, including a 50-cent-per-mile reimbursement.

"There are no grants for diesel. None. The government is not giving out any type of money in those seeking diesel," Reeder added.

The city purchased seven CNG trucks with a grant from the Indiana Volkswagen Environmental Mitigation Trust Fund. Last month, Portage was named Green Fleet Member of the Year by the Northwestern Indiana Regional Planning Commission.