<p><em>Photo via Flickr/Scott Lowe.</em></p>

The Montgomery County (Ohio) Solid Waste District broke ground at the construction site for a compressed natural gas (CNG) fueling station on Dec. 16 to support its transition to greener vehicles, the county announced.

The Solid Waste District has begun replacing its aging fleet with CNG vehicles, a process that will be completed over the next 12 months. Converting the district’s fleet will reduce operational costs by about $150,000 per year, the district estimated. With an upfront investment of $4.5 million to build the station and purchase CNG vehicles, the district expects the CNG station to pay for itself within 20-30 years through fuel savings alone.

To help offset costs, the district has applied for a $750,000 Diesel Emissions Reduction Grant from the Ohio EPA to help fund the project and purchase additional CNG vehicles. Grant winners will be announced in January.

The CNG station is expected to be completed and open to the public by May.

The district provides solid waste and recycling services for 28 cities, villages, and townships.