Public Works Department receives new natural gas trucks in Perryville

June 28, 2018. Perryville’s Public Works Department (Missouri) took possession of its first natural gas-powered garbage truck this week, in a move officials hope will increase productivity and reduce pollution as aging equipment is retired. A second vehicle is expected to be ready for city crews to bring home by the end of the week.

   At a cost of $283,000 per unit — $566,000 in total — the trucks are equipped with extendable arms that can grab standardized trashcans and automatically tip them over the vehicle’s receptacle, allowing for single person operation of trash routes. Historically, two men have been required to do the work – one to drive the vehicle, and one to handle trashcan.

   According to Josh Iser, a sales representative with the Iowa based manufacturer New Way, switching to natural gas not only ensures lower emissions at cost compatible to other hydrocarbon fuel sources, but provides greater reliability during a period when diesel trucks are experiencing increasing reliability issues.

   “It’s greener, but the trucks are running,” Iser said. “With all the new diesel exhaust laws there has been a lot of down time, maintenance issues, regarding the new diesel equipment. It is cleaner, and it’s an American fuel source that is produced here.”

   Public Works, which has seen a major conversion to natural gas vehicles at the behest of city officials, now has approximately eight such vehicles in its fleet, as well as an on-site fueling depot at their headquarters.

   The trucks are expected to last seven to eight years in municipal service. The city’s current fleet of garbage trucks will remain serviceable, at least for the time being, as there are still some areas the new trucks cannot fit into.