THOMASVILLE, GA – With the City Council approval of four compressed natural gas (CNG) refuse trucks for the City of Thomasville, the City is taking its first steps into transitioning to an all-CNG refuse fleet. The City plans on converting the entire diesel-only garbage fleet to CNG through attrition, according to a release from the City.

Mayor Max Beverly said the City expects to save an average of $2.50 per gasoline-gallon equivalent over petroleum fuel. City Manager/Utilities Superintendent Steve Sykes noted that “for these first four vehicles alone, we have calculated that in five years, their fuel savings will have paid for themselves in entirety, with an average annual fuel savings of $52,500.”

In addition to fuel cost savings, significant savings will come from decreasing the costs associated with ensuring that the City’s diesel garbage fleet is in compliance with increasingly stringent environmental standards.

“There is an ever-increasing expense incurred on our part as we update and retrofit our diesel fleet to maintain compliance with federal emissions standards,” Sykes said. “With the conversion to a CNG fleet, those costs are eliminated because CNG burns much more cleanly than other, more traditional fuels, without requiring modification to the engine and/or exhaust system.”

To make the Solid Waste fleet CNG conversion possible, the City will invest in the creation of the community’s first CNG filling station.

“Initially this station will be a slow-fill system, reserved exclusively for our Solid Waste fleet; primarily because refueling will require several hours per vehicle,” Mayor Beverly said.

However, as the station’s capabilities are improved and time required for fueling decreased, the City will be able to provide CNG fueling to the community, the release stated.