PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. - Compressed natural gas is an alternative fuel that proponents hope is the way of the future.
Now, with new $300,000 MAC trucks and a new CNG fueling station, garbage collection company Waste Pro is cleaning up more than just your household trash. It's also helping to keep clean the air you breathe.
Art Hyatt, Waste Pro driver, said switching to new compressed natural gas garbage trucks is a step up for the environment, and for workers.
"We spend more time in our trucks than our homes, at times," Hyatt said. "You don't want to breathe in more stuff than you have to. With this newer system that we have now, we don't breathe in gasses at all."
Russell Mackie, Waste Pro Regional Vice President, said it was an investment to bring in the 20 new CNG trucks, with a goal of a fleet of 70 trucks over the next couple of years. He said the environmental pay-off made building the area's first CNG station a no-brainer.
"I think this technology is here to stay," explained Mackie. "There's an abundance of natural gas in this country, so for that reason, it makes sense."
Hyatt said it's not only an improvement for drivers just like him, it's better for the 100,000 St. Lucie County customers who have their garbage removed by trucks just like these.
"The environment, the people around us, we don't pollute their houses, we don't put soot on their cars when we drive," said Hyatt. "This is a better facility for us to live in. There's no fumes like the emissions a Diesel fuel or gas engine puts out, which is healthier for us."
If you are accustomed to hearing a loud noise when your trash is collected, get ready for a change there, too, since these trucks are significantly quieter.
Mackie said another benefit is that using natural gas keeps the company from being subject to the price fluctuations of foreign oil, so customers can expect a more stable trash bill.