The City of Temple, Texas, is using grant funds it obtained from various state agencies and programs to offset the cost of 14 compressed natural gas (CNG) fueled refuse trucks. The City’s city council approved the purchase of the vehicles in 2012 as part of its adoption of the City’s Sustainability Management Plan. The trucks are set to go into service in the fall of this year (2013).

The grants include $270,000 from the Texas Natural Gas Grant Program, a program operated by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, $191,421 from the Alternative Fuel Initiatives Grant Program, which is run by the Texas State Energy Conservation Office, and $62,763 from the Texas Alternative Fuel Fleet Pilot Program, a program run by the Texas Railroad Commission.

The City’s solid waste fleet consists of 42 heavy-duty vehicles. The City’s overall fleet currently consists of 425 vehicles, of which 38 percent are “general” vehicles, according to the City, 38 percent are light-duty trucks, 22 percent are heavy-duty trucks, and 2 percent are motorcycles. Once the new CNG-fueled refuse trucks go into service, 17 percent of the City’s total heavy-duty fleet will operate on CNG.

Savings from these 14 vehicles will be approximately $10,000 per year, the City stated, and the City will reduce its use of diesel fuel by 5,500 gallons per year.

In addition to the CNG-fueled refuse trucks, Temple is building a publicly accessible CNG fueling station near the City’s landfill.