The Lancaster County (Pennsylvania) Solid Waste Management Authority (LCSWMA) held a dedication and grand opening of its $4.8-million compressed natural gas (CNG) project. LCSWMA’s CNG project includes 14 new Peterbilt transfer trucks with Cummins-Westport ISX 12L CNG engines, costing around $2.2 million total. LCSWMA purchased the fleet in 2013 and transitioned them into operation last month.
The trucks transfer waste from LCSWMA’s Transfer Station in Lancaster to its waste-to-energy facilities in Bainbridge and Harrisburg, as well as to its landfill in Conestoga. Previously, LCSWMA used diesel-powered trucks that consumed an average of 140,000 gallons of diesel fuel annually.
To help offset the incremental difference (37%) of purchasing the CNG trucks versus diesel trucks, LCSWMA received a $350,000 grant from the PA Department of Environmental Protection (PA-DEP), as part of their Pennsylvania Natural Gas Energy Development Program.
Converting its fleet also required LCSMWA to install CNG fueling infrastructure at its Transfer Station Complex. While LCSWMA will utilize a time-fill (overnight) fueling system with 16 pumps for its fleet, this project also includes a fast-fill fueling system with four pumps for waste haulers and other select fleets. Total cost for construction of the dual-station CNG fueling infrastructure was about $2.6 million. This is the first system of its kind in Lancaster County.
LCSWMA contracted with Clean Energy Fuels to design and construct the CNG fueling stations, as well as provide multi-year operations and maintenance services for the system.
So far, LCSWMA has agreements with Good’s Disposal, the City of Lancaster and PA-DEP, as well in discussions with Clean Energy, UGI and several other commercial fleets to use the CNG fast-fill station. LCSWMA expects that number to steadily increase as more companies become aware of the centrality and convenience of the fast-fill CNG station, as well as the economic and environmental incentives to make the switch from diesel to natural gas.
Currently, LCSWMA’s price to customers for CNG is $2.23 per gasoline gallon equivalent (GGE), which is about 45% lower than the average diesel gallon price on the East Coast.
LCSWMA’s CNG initiative is projected to reduce over 10 million pounds (or 4,500 metric tons) of air pollutants each year in Lancaster County.