January 3, 2020. The city of Lake Station, Indiana, is planning to upgrade its fleet for refuse collection, and the new vehicles will be environmentally friendly.

Public Works Superintendent Adrian Vera said Lake Station is closer to purchasing its first two garbage trucks fueled by compressed natural gas (CNG). The vehicles could be ordered by January or February, and Lake Station has received a grant that will cover 80% of the cost. He estimated Lake Station’s contribution to be around $150,000.

Vera said the city is “excited” about acquiring the vehicles because of the several advantages that can come from using CNG trucks. He explained that CNG burns cleaner than diesel, emitting fewer greenhouse gases and the engines also are much quieter.

Outside of the environmental benefits, there are a variety of other reasons that make it enticing to convert to CNG. Fuel costs can be less than petroleum products. There also can be reduced maintenance costs because of CNG being cleaner than diesel, Vera added.

The alternative-fueled vehicles can also have a better performance during the winter. Diesel fuel can become gel-like in cold temperatures, which can delay the use of diesel vehicles until they can warm up. The CNG vehicles don’t have the same issues and run well during the cold, officials said.

Vera said Lake Station doesn’t plan to stop after buying the CNG trucks. He said the city would actively seek more grant funding for additional CNG vehicles and the possibility of creating a fueling facility in Lake Station.