Pittsburgh continues to grow its fleet of natural gas trucks

March 7, 2023. The City of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, has 10 natural gas refuse trucks and is getting 10 more this month, according to Maria Montaño, a spokeswoman for Mayor Ed Gainey.

City Council members have debated the merits of compressed natural gas (CNG) vehicles for weeks. They approved legislation Tuesday to continue leasing fueling equipment for the vehicles.

City officials have said city isn’t ready to make the jump to electric refuse trucks because of lengthy charging times and limits on how far the vehicles can travel before needing to charge again.

The city bought the compressed natural gas vehicles with state grant money, but the city is responsible for fueling costs.

The legislation approved by council will extend the city’s contract with Compass Natural Gas for fueling equipment for the natural gas trucks. The city leases refueling equipment at a site in the Strip District where the vehicles are kept.

The city has paid $126,000 a year for the fueling equipment since 2020. The contract approved Tuesday extends the contract at the same rate through 2025.

Montaño said CNG is cheaper than diesel and its price fluctuates less. On average, the city on average spent $2.89 a gallon for natural gas last year, compared to $3.79 a gallon for diesel.

She added that the trucks have less of an adverse environmental impact than their diesel counterparts.